Vini Fantini team moves to dispel rumours it will stop
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Vini Fantini team moves to dispel rumours it will stop

by VeloNation Press at 4:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Italian squad insists it will continue in cycling despite Di Luca and Santambrogio positives

Danilo Di LucaRocked by positive EPO tests by two of its top riders, Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio, the Vini Fantini team has moved to quash suggestions that the squad could cease to exist as a result of those cases.

The Pro Continental team had seemed under threat after the Il Centro publication published remarks by the main sponsor Valentino Sciotti which appeared to point to a withdrawal from the sport. "At this moment I do not feel like staying [in the sport]. With what guarantees? I do not trust anybody anymore in the world of cycling,” he stated.

In response, team manager Angelo Citracca issued a clarification after what he said were ‘articles with incorrect and misleading information’ in several newspapers.

"First of all I want to reassure the many fans who have written to us and who have written directly to Luca Scinto. Scinto will continue his important work and will continue to lead our team. His announcements made immediately after the communication of Santambrogio’s positive case have been caused by a moment of despair that has betrayed the typical optimism of Luca, but his willingness to go on with our project is in no way in doubt. His saying "I will leave everything" was just a momentary weakness.”

If Scinto will stay and Citracca pledges to remain on board, what about the sponsors? He said that he received a call on Tuesday evening from Sciotti, which removed doubt. Citracca said that Sciotti “confirmed to me, in full confidence, for the remaining part of this season and for the next one. So the aims and the structure of our project don't change and our project will go on in any case, even if, for strategic reasons than I could fully understand, the choices of Farnese group were to change.”

Although DeFeet ended its backing, Citracca states that others have said that they are committed. “I want to underline that surely our team will go on, as much this year as in the future, considering that a lot of partners (including Farnese) have already given us positive signals and support, and confirmed their confidence.”

Had Sciotti walked away, his decision to do so would doubtlessly have been questioned on the basis that he personally insisted that Di Luca be given a contract. On the day that case was announced, Citracca made clear that the rider was essentially imposed upon the squad.

“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,” he said then. “Due to friendship and geographical proximity to the cyclist, he insisted and created the conditions for the inclusion of Di Luca in the team.”

Sciotti issued an apology over the matter, saying that he was wrong to sign the veteran and that he hoped 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.’

The team voluntarily withdrew from Il Lombardia yesterday, acknowledging the harm the cases had done to the race organisers RCS Sport.

“We fully understand the situation of difficulty and embarrassment situation in which, unfortunately, the organisers are in due to recent events. We don't want to create any more problems for RCS, to whom we will always be thankful for the trust it has shown us for all this years.”

Citracca said that the team would continue on with other events, with the Riga Grand Prix and the GP Jurmala taking place this weekend.


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