Paolo Bettini under pressure after alerting rider to doping test
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Paolo Bettini under pressure after alerting rider to doping test

by Xylon van Eyck at 6:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Italian says it is standard practice so that the riders are not late

Paolo BettiniFormer world champion and Italian cycling national coach Paolo Bettini is reportedly under investigation by the prosecutor in Padua for abuse of office. The manager is said to have warned a rider about an anti-doping test in Melbourne 2010 at the world championships.

“As part of my functions as the team coach and in accordance with the Federation I told all the riders about the test so that none of them would be late,” said Bettini, according to AFP.

“I always do that and I also did it during our get-together ahead of the World Championships in Copenhagen this year.”

Bettini received support on the matter from Italian Cycling Federation president Renato Di Rocco. “This is nonsense, the magistrate needs to do his research,” he said. “It was an internal control which we do regularly."

He added, “Bettini told them so they wouldn't miss it.”

Bettini has previously been in hot water with Italian authorities when he was accused of tax evasion to the tune of €4.5 million over several years. He is said to have paid two million euro to the Italian authorities recently, to settle the matter.

Bettini raced professionally until 2008. He was one of the most successful Italian riders of his generation and won numerous races including 2004 Olympic Games, the 2006 and 2007 world road race championships, stages in each of the Grand Tours, plus Classics such as Milan San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro di Lombardia.

He clashed with UCI President Pat McQuaid prior to the 2007 worlds when it emerged he had refused to sign the Riders’s Commitment for a New Cycling, a pledge the UCI required riders at the time to make against doping and denying any involvement in Operacion Puerto.

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