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Cipollini denies link to Fuentes

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
August 26, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:25 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for August 26, 2006

After Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday that retired sprinter Mario Cipollini was also...

After Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday that retired sprinter Mario Cipollini was also amongst the clients of Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes when he still a professional cyclist, the Italian has denied the allegations. The newspaper claimed that the Guardia Civil suspected Cipollini to have received various doping products and practices in 2002, under the code name of "Pavarotti" - a name that is allegedly found in Fuentes' records for that particular year. Cipollini scored 14 victories that season, including Milano-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, six stages in the Giro d'Italia and three in the Vuelta, as well as his world championship title in Zolder, Netherlands.

"I am completely astounded at what the newspaper Repubblica published today," Cipollini declared. "It is absurd to me that my name is mentioned in this arbitrary way in something I now nothing about. Personally, I do not know doctor Fuentes and I have never had any contact to him."

The Tuscan is now ready to take legal action "to protect his image".

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