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"What can I say? I believed in the man and in the athlete and it is right that I take all the blame because I made a mistake. Maybe I was wrong to believe that after a mistake you can redeem and learn not to repeat the mistakes."

Photo: Sirotti




24.05.2013 @ 15:07 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

In a swift move designed to distance itself quickly and unequivocally from the rider, the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team has announced that Danilo Di Luca has been sacked and will be sued for damages after it was revealed that Di Luca had tested positive for EPO.


In an official press release the team denied any responsibility for engaging the rider. The team sponsor, notably, has assumed all responsibility for engaging the rider who had previously tested positive while riding for other teams. If found guilty of doping once again, Di Luca seems doomed as a rider. The official statement from the team reads:


“Following of the news Danilo Di Luca's positive result at an out-of-competition test performed on April 29th, the team Vini Fantini Selle Italia through its team manager Angelo Citracca specifies the following: "Danilo Di Luca is an athlete who was not part of our group, not wanted by the team and he was included in our team by our main sponsor Valentino Sciotti, for 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 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. The athlete, already returned after a disqualification with other teams, was not included in the philosophy and programs of our team, working for years in the discovery and growing of young athletes. Following the news, learned with regret in the morning, the team has dismissed the athlete, intimating him to get away. At this point, Vini Fantini Selle Italia will ask for a compensation for damages, in accordance with the internal rules signed by all the members of the team." 


The sports director Luca Scinto points out: "I'm devastated, I never wanted Di Luca in the team and I've never made any secret to anyone of this, even when I was receiving some criticism. We have built our group on the sacred values of cycling and we made the mistake to satisfy the request, expressed many times by our main sponsor, who is a successful entrepreneur passionate about this sport, to try to give confidence to an athlete dear to him for friendship. Unfortunately this trust has been rewarded with an incredible mistake, which I still cannot understand". 


The disappointment of Scinto is echoed in the deep sorrow expressed by the main sponsor, Valentino Sciotti: "What can I say? I believed in the man and in the athlete and it is right that I take all the blame because I made a mistake. Maybe I was wrong to believe that after a mistake you can redeem 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 forgiveness from the fans, the team, the other sponsors, my partners and all the other cyclists who are racing Giro d'Italia fairly and honestly and all those young athletes who will be shaken by this news."”



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