Banned Italian hits out at "poorly managed" UCI
Following the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to uphold an appeal by the UCI to ban Franco Pellizotti for two years, the Italian claims he wants "nothing more of cycling".
In an interview with Spanish cycling website Ciclismo a Fondo, Pellizotti has hit out at the sport's governing body claiming it's "poorly managed, with the leadership continuing to do what they want, applying rules as they wish."
Pellizotti was identified as a rider of interest by the UCI's Biological Passport before last year's Giro d'Italia but was then cleared by the Italian Olympic Committee in October.
The man known as ‘Il Delfino' says at that point in proceedings, he believed that the matter would be dropped.
"I'm disappointed with the sport and with justice," he said. "I do not accept this penalty, but what I can do? This is the cycle... The leaders do what they want and will continue because they are allowed to do so. They are powerful, very strong and nobody says anything against them. I just cannot do anything."
Pellizotti's legal team had requested an urgent verdict and the arbitrators took just five days to reach their decison. His ban is expected to last until May 2012. Fellow Italian Pietro Caucchioli was also given a ban, with CAS confirming the two-year suspension issued by the Italian Olympic Committee.
As an extra penalty, CAS has cancelled all of Pelizotti's results from May 17, 2009. He will lose his second place at the Giro d'Italia (he finished third but Danilo Di Luca was subsequently disqualified for doping), his stage victory at the Tour de France and his king of the mountains jersey. He has also been fined 115,000 Euro.
The 33-year-old says he is now walking away from the sport.
"I leave it all, I don't want to know anything more of cycling," Pellizotti said. "Not because of my age or for the time, even though it's two years, it's because I am tired."