Marco Pantani’s parents criticise decision to clear drug dealer of son’s death
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marco Pantani’s parents criticise decision to clear drug dealer of son’s death

by VeloNation Press at 5:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
“We cannot get justice” states father of 1998 Tour winner

Marco PantaniThe parents of the 1998 Tour de France champion Marco Pantani, who died of a cocaine overdose in 2004, have expressed their extreme disappointment and anger at the decision today by the Italian Supreme Court to clear the drug dealer involved in their son’s death.

“It’s a shame, there is no justice in Italy…you can ruin people and then get away with it,” Pantani’s mother Tonina said, according to “We were sure to win.. There are unexplained aspects of this whole affair, inside me there is an enormous sadness.”

In January 2008 the nightclub owner Fabio Carlino was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for supplying Pantani with the drugs that killed him, but the court today ruled that the media reaction around the death caused the original judge to place too much importance on Carlino’s role

The Supreme Court cleared him today. “The facts did not constitute a crime,” stated the Italian news agency ANSA, presumably referring to Pantani’s own decision to purchase and consume the drug.

After performing strongly in previous seasons, the Italian climber was firmly atop of the sport in 1998, taking the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double and ending the year as the top stage race rider and climber in the sport. He appeared even more dominant during the 1999 Giro d’Italia, leading the race and winning several stages, but then was clocked with a hematocrit exceeding the UCI’s limit of 50%.

He was ejected from the Giro and while the rules stated he was eligible to return after two weeks, he refused to race that year’s Tour, which was won by Lance Armstrong. Pantani returned to the French event in 2000, taking the stages to Ventoux and Courchevel, but then fell into a pattern of cocaine use which caused his career, and eventually his life, to unravel.

“First they destroyed Marco, and now they want to destroy us,” his father Paolo today. “It is evident that there is something unclear in this tragedy. Some things should not happen. Everyone knows the facts as they happened, everyone knows who is responsible for the death of our son, but we cannot get justice.

“In Italy many things do not work, and among these there is also our case. However I hang on, there's Marco to help us, and he gives us strength from above.”


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