Masciarelli pulls rider to avoid problems
Michele Scarponi has been pulled from the Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo team for the upcoming Giro d'Italia. Team Manager Palmiro Masciarelli and the the rider decided to avoid problems for his Italian Professional Continental team in the race that starts May 12, in Sardegna.
"I don't want to create problems with the other teams or for our team," said Scarponi to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Masciarelli wishes to wait for rider, who was signed in February, to clarify his relationship with Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and the associated Operación Puerto investigation.
Scarponi's time to defend himself will come Tuesday when he returns to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in Rome. After his first meeting two days ago, he will return to answer to CONI anti-doping prosecutors Ettore Torri and Franco Cosenza.
The 27 year-old rider from Le Marche, winner of the Coppi e Bartali, has given his availability to DNA testing. The catch is that there are not any bags of blood from Fuentes' Madrid offices for comparisons. However, CONI allegedly has other elements that testify to his relationship with the Spanish doctor, in particular the phone number of Scarponi in found in Fuentes' agenda.
If Scarponi, who is allegedly linked with the code name 'Zapatero' (or 'shoe maker'), is not able to defend himself he will be referred to the Italian cycling federation (FCI) disciplinary commission.
Acqua & Sapone is acting upon the request made by the International Association of Cycling Race Organisers (AIOCC) in Liège, April 27, that asked teams not include its riders linked to Operación Puerto in races.