Alessandro Petacchi should be concentrating on his preparations for the Giro d'Italia right now, but instead he finds his thoughts straying as to whether he even has a future in cycling. The Milram sprinter is waiting on a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport as to whether he will be suspended for two years on doping charges.
"I'm trying to think only about the Giro d'Italia but the wait for the decision of the court is on my mind," he told the AFP press agency. "Anything could happen, I could even lose the desire to compete in the Giro or in the Tour de France, which I haven't been to since 2004. I'm trying not to imagine that everything will turn out well because the disappointment would be huge if I got an unfavourable decision."
During last year's Giro, the 34 year-old tested positive for Salbutamol, an asthma medication. He has permission to use the medication, but the test results were over the legal limit. The Italian Cycling Federation cleared him of doping charges, but the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) appealed that decision to the CAS. The CAS heard the case on April 2, but said that it would not announce its decision until some time next month.
Petacchi has indicated that he would retire from racing if found guilty.(SW)