Recently retired Italian sprint star Mario Cipollini has been questioned by Italian police as part of the ongoing investigation into the incident between Lance Armstrong and Filippo Simeoni in last year's Tour de France.
Police wanted to talk to Cipollini because his team manager at Domina Vacanze in 2004, Vincenzo Santoni had told them that Armstrong had put pressure on Cipollini to stop Simeoni riding in the 2004 Tour.
"Cipollini was questioned for an hour but I cannot reveal details of what was said or anything regarding Cipollini's position in the investigation," police officer Pierluigi Lambardi told Reuters.
Italian police are investigating Armstrong for 'private violence' and intimidating a witness after he chased down Simeoni in stage 18 of the 2004 Tour. The bad blood between Armstrong and Simeoni stems from an Italian court case against Dr Michele Ferrari, who has acted as an advisor to Armstrong. Simeoni testified against Ferrari in a 2002 hearing, claiming that Ferrari had given him banned substances In 2003 Simeoni initiated defamation proceedings against Armstrong after Armstrong called him a liar in a French newspaper interview.
Ferrari was found guilty of sporting fraud and illegally acting as a pharmacist on October 1, 2004 but is appealing.
Filippo Simeoni now rides for the Continental Pro Naturino - Sapore di Mare team, run by Vincenzo Santoni.