Bettini accused of abusing office by Padova doping inquiry

Italian federation moves to defend national team coach

Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has been accused of abusing his office by a Padova-based anti-doping inquiry, according to reports from La Repubblica and the ANSAnews agency.

Bettini is alleged to have forewarned one of his riders of a doping control in the run-up to the world championships in Geelong in September 2010. The Italian squad was staying at Hotel Le Robinie in Busto Arsizio, Italy at the time of the alleged incident, before flying together to Australia for the Worlds.

Italian federation president Renato Di Rocco came to Bettini’s defence on Wednesday evening, however, and argued that the control in question was a routine internal health check of all selected riders, which was carried out under the auspices of the federation.

“This is a contradiction in terms and the magistrate should inform himself better,” Di Rocco said, according to La Repubblica. “It was an internal control of the kind we regularly carry out. Bettini gave a reminder so that the athlete would stick to the schedule.”

On Tuesday, it was announced that Bettini had paid out a tax settlement of two million euro to the Italian authorities. The Tuscan had been accused of evading €4.5 million of taxes between 2003 and the end of his racing career in 2008.

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