Italian team to sue, main sponsor takes the blame
The Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team has moved quickly to distance itself from Danilo Di Luca after it was revealed that he tested positive for EPO, announcing that he has been sacked and will be sued for damages.
"Danilo Di Luca was not part of our group, was not wanted by the team and was inserted into our set-up by our main sponsor Valentino Sciotti, who out of friendship and regional ties to the rider, insisted upon and created the conditions for his addition to the roster," team manager Angelo Citracca said in a press release.
"Following the news, which we received with disappointment this morning, the team fired the rider on the spot and told him to leave the race by his own means. At this point, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia will also open civil proceedings to claim damages from the rider, in accordance with the internal rules that all members of the team signed up to.”
Scinto described Di Luca as a cretin to Cyclingnews when the news broke and insisted he had never wanted him in the team.
"I'm knocked out. I never wanted Di Luca in the team and I didn’t hide it despite being criticised for my opinion," Scinto said in the press release.
"We've built out team based on the sacred values of cycling and we made a mistake by accepting the repeated request from our main sponsor to have faith in a rider they are close friends with. Unfortunately this faith has been repaid with an incredible error, which I still can't understand or take in."
It was Valentino Sciotti of Vini Fantini who so wanted Di Luca in the team for the Giro d'Italia.
"What can I say? I wanted and believed in the man and the rider, and it’s only right that I take all the blame because I made a mistake," he said.
"Maybe I made a mistake in believing that someone can redeem themselves after an error and not make one again. Maybe I made a mistake in wanting to help someone who I saw in difficulty."
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