Moreni pays fine, takes responsibility
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Moreni pays fine, takes responsibility

by Bjorn Haake at 11:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Cristian Moreni has paid the one year salary fine for using doping substances. The Italian was caught using EPO in the 2007 Tour de France and his Cofidis team was excluded from the race.

Moreni took the initiative. "In cycling there are rules, but everybody tries to go around them," Moreni told French sports paper L'Equipe. "Let's respect our responsibilities and it will be a big step forward." His words were especially addressed towards Alexander Vinokourov and Michael Rasmussen, who were also suspended for doping and failing to follow the whereabouts rule, respectively.

Both Vinokourov and Rasmussen, who have the same attorney, refuse to pay the fine. "Rasmussen already told me that he condemns the move." Vinokourov also didn't like it and is certainly unwilling to follow suit.

Moreni's former directeur sportif, Eric Boyer, was quite impressed. "He is very brave, especially because nobody asked him to pay. The one year salary fine agreement was obsolete, but he is giving it back some credibility."

Pat McQuaid, head of the International Cycling Federation UCI, also was happy how things turned out. "Christian Moreni came to our location [in mid-October] to find an agreement with us to pay one year of salary. He wants to ride again [when his suspension is up] and wants to be able to tell his future team that his fine is settled. That shows a lot of character," McQuaid said to Reuters.

However, Moreni has not found a team yet and nobody has contacted him. If he is unlucky, his doing the right thing could backfire, like it happened to Jörg Jaksche, who had to end his career after his elaborate doping confession. The Italian, who turns 37 next week, would love to return to the sport, so "he can retire honorably."

Moreni turned pro in 1998 with Brescialat-Liquigas. His other teams were Liquigas, Mercatone Uno, Alessio, Quick Step and Cofidis. He was a domestique and valuable team helper. He did win a stage in the Vuelta a España and one stage in the Giro d'Italia. He also won the Italian Championships in 2004.

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