Michele Scarponi: “I’m very sorry for Alberto Contador”
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Monday, February 06, 2012

Michele Scarponi: “I’m very sorry for Alberto Contador”

by Ben Atkins at 9:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Doping
 
Lampre-ISD captain stands to inherit 2011 Giro d’Italia title after Spanish rider’s retrospective suspension

michele scarponiOne of those to benefit from Alberto Contador being handed a retrospective two year suspension for his clenbuterol positive at the 2010 Tour de France, is 2011 Giro d’Italia runner-up Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD). Contador will not only forfeit his 2010 Tour victory – handing it to Andy Schleck (then, ironically, of Saxo Bank – Contador’s current team – now of RadioShack Nissan Trek) – but every result since, which includes his victory in last year’s Giro d’Italia.

This disqualification after the fact hands that maglia rosa to Scarponi, which will be his first victory in a Grand Tour.

Despite being handed victory in his national Tour, in the year of the 150th anniversary of the unification of his country, the “Eagle of Filottrano” was less than triumphant in the statement he released via his team.

"Together with my team, Lampre-ISD, I acknowledge the decision by the TAS about Contador case,” Scarponi said. “For what concerns the human aspect, I'm very sorry for Alberto; for what concerns the professional aspect, this decision doesn't change the value of the results I obtained and the targets for the future."

Scarponi himself has fallen foul of anti-doping authorities in the past, being one of the very few athletes to be sanctioned for his part in the blood-doping ring run by Spanish gynaecologist Eufemiano Fuentes. The then Astana-Wurth rider was exposed as being “Amigo di Birillo” in the files uncovered during Operación Puerto [Birillo was compatriot Ivan Basso – ed], and received a suspension of just over 15 months.

Since his return, towards the end of the 2008 season, Scarponi has steadily improved in his home Tour; he finished 31st in 2009, fourth in 2010, and has now won in 2011.

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