Denis Menchov’s agent Raimondo Scimone has responded to Andrei Tchmil’s open letter by threatening legal action against the Katusha team manager.
Tchmil claimed he had been unfairly treated during negotiations with Menchov this summer and alluded that the Russian rider and his management had problems with the rules and discipline at Team Katusha. Menchov is Russia's best stage race rider but opted to sign with Geox-TMC for 2011.
Tchmil ended his letter saying “There will never be a place for him (Menchov) at Team Katusha while he continues to be managed in this way. I hope that Denis Menchov reflects on this.”
Scimone hit back by saying “the letter contains numerous things that have been proven to be false and damaging for the image and good name of my rider Denis Menchov and for myself. As a result it is being studied by our lawyers to decide if we will defend our name and image.”
Scimone claimed that after an initial contact in January, the Katusha team never showed interest in opening formal negotiations with Menchov. He denied that there were any problems in accepting the internal team rules concerning discipline at Katusha, especially the clause in rider’s contract that states they have to pay five times their salary if they are caught doping.
“When the head of Team Katusha says that one of the motives for the lack of an agreement with Menchov was the internal discipline in the team and especially the fight against doping, and claims rider’s agents don’t like it, he damages Menchov, myself and all riders’ agents, who are soon to be officially recognized by the UCI,” Scimone said in his own letter.
“I work with five riders with the Russian team and that is enough to prove that there is no truth to Tchmil’s veiled accusations about how I work.”