Vini Fantini Selle Italia sponsor apologises for trusting Di Luca
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Vini Fantini Selle Italia sponsor apologises for trusting Di Luca

by VeloNation Press at 7:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Team says rider was imposed on them and they didn’t want him to come on board

Danilo di LucaFollowing today’s news that Danilo Di Luca has provided a positive A sample for EPO, the chief sponsor of the Vini Fantini Selle Italia team has issued a mea culpa about bringing the rider on board.

The team management expressed reservations about taking on the Italian, who has already served a ban and has been repeatedly implicated in doping matters, but this was overruled by Valentino Sciotti, who brought him on board prior to the Giro d’Italia.

"What can I say? I believed in man and in the athlete and it is right that I take all the blame because I made a mistake,” he said today in a statement. “Maybe I was wrong to believe that after a mistake you can redeem yourself and learn not to repeat the mistakes, maybe I'm wrong to want to help a person I saw in trouble, maybe I was wrong to follow the religious values that my family gave me, maybe I'm wrong in believing that when you talk to a person looking into his eyes, you can also read his heart.

“I was wrong and I must ask for forgiveness from the fans, the team, the other sponsors, my partners and all the other cyclists who are racing the Giro d'Italia fairly and honestly and all those young athletes who will be shaken by this news.”

Team manager Angelo Citracca makes clear that the rider was imposed on them. “Danilo Di Luca is an athlete who was not part of our group, not wanted by the team and he was included by our Main Sponsor Valentino Sciotti. Due to friendship and geographical proximity to the cyclist, he insisted and created the conditions for the inclusion of Di Luca in the team.

“Danilo Di Luca, who was repeatedly involved in problems related to doping and already disqualified for similar violations, repaid the trust of a friend and great entrepreneur with another mistake, whose consequences damages Vini Fantini Selle Italia team even if it is innocent.”

He said that the team has dismissed the rider, even though the B sample analysis is yet to be carried out. It also said that under the internal rules signed by all team members, that it will pursue him for compensation for damages.

Directeur sportif Luca Scinto also emphasises that he didn’t agree to his signing. “I'm devastated, I never wanted Di Luca in the team and I've never made any secret to anyone of this, even receiving some criticism.”


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