Italian bike manufacturer Ernesto Colnago has offered support to Matteo Rabottini after the former Farnese Vini rider talked openly about his use of EPO and revealed that his parents no longer speak to him and his partner had left him.
Rabottini is best known for winning the climber's jersey and the stage to Piani dei Resinelli at the 2012 Giro d'Italia. However, he returned a positive test for EPO in an out-of-competition control in August of 2014. His suspension began on August 7, 2014 and ends on May 6 this year. It was reduced by three months for cooperating with anti-doping authorities and naming the person who supplied him with EPO.
"I have no one,” Rabottini said in the interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday. “In this hell that I live, all have deserted me. When the news of the positive broke, dad took it very badly. Since then, he and mom have not spoken to me anymore. Even my partner is gone, with my son Diego. There’s no one.
“They say that time fixes everything, but it does not. It’s just hell, that's all. Steps away from heaven, where everything is beautiful. To that I say to all young people, ‘I know what hell is. Do not make the same mistake, because when you know, you do not want to return to that hell. I assure you. Trust me, if you lose everything, you won’t go back there.'”
Colnago reacted after reading the full-page interview, admitting he had been moved by Rabottini revealing his parents have refused to speak to him since his positive test.
“I know his father Luciano, he raced during my time and I know he’s a good person. His son has realised he’s made a huge mistake, is suffering like hell and feels alone, with just his grandfather who calls occasionally. I’ve been in cycling for 60 years and feel that we shouldn’t abandon Matteo,” Colnago told Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.
“He’s admitted his mistakes and I want to tell him: Take your young son Diego and find the strength to go to your parents on your knees and say: ‘I’m sorry.’
“His problems with his family have to be resolved and Matteo has to rebuild his relationship with his mum and dad. Then when he's got his life back together, he can get back on his bike. His confession is a cry for help, he’s asking for a hand. We’ve got to help him and support him.”