Mario Cipollini's ties to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport have prompted the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to open investigations against the retired rider. The newspaper has alleged Cipollini used large quantities of banned substances during 2001 through until 2004.
"The Office of the Prosecutor doping, following press reports appeared about to cyclist Mario Cipollini, announces that it has opened the dossier as "related acts," read a CONI release.
It was 2002 when the Italian sprinter who amassed nearly 200 professional wins during career, took his first and only Milan-San Remo victory and world road race championship title. That same year Cipollini won six stages at the Giro d'Italia and took out his third Points Classification jersey.
Cipollini is alleged to have used large quantities of EPO and growth hormone during under the guidance and instruction of Fuentes and is said to have undertaken 13 blood transfusions in the lead-up to his Milan-San Remo victory and World's win in Zolder.
The former ‘king' of the sprints was quick to squash the reports by Gazzetta that suggested Cipollini was in fact the rider who used the code name "Maria" during his time alongside Fuentes.
"In the name of and on behalf of Mr. Mario Cipollini and regarding the news that appeared today on the Gazzetta.it website, in the related newspaper and picked-up by several other parts of the media, this statement categorically denies the false and absurd accusations made against my client," wrote Cipollini's lawyer Giuseppe Napoleone.