Sunday marks the twelfth anniversary of Marco Pantani’s death and in Italy the tragic nature of his passing, along with the on-going quest by his family to investigate every aspect of his death, have always had popular support.
Now, an online appeal to continue the investigation has attracted more than 11,000 supporters. The petition on the change.org website was launched by Italian actor Sebastiano Gavasso, who is working on a play about Pantani’s life. Francesco Ceniti, the Gazzetta dello Sport journalist who has always written about and supported the position of Pantani’s family, is also involved in the play and in this latest attempt to keep the investigation open.
Public prosecutor Paolo Giovagnoli has requested that the case be closed, convinced by the overwhelming evidence that Pantani died of a toxic cocktail of anti-depression drugs and cocaine. However, despite all the evidence, Pantani’s mother believes her son could have been murdered. She wants the investigation to continue and has appealed against its closure.
A hearing will be held on February 24 and Gavasso wants to block the closure of the investigation.
“We’ve formed a team of people who have the desire to give back Marco Pantani his dignity, as a human being and as athlete," he said.
"We’ve created a play dedicated to Marco that will be shown across Italy. Working on the project, we’ve got to the bottom of il Pirata’s story. That’s why we want clarity about his death once and for all. For him, for his fans, for cycling and for the love of the truth.
“Let's give Marco what lots of lies and baseless opinions have tried to take from him. Let's not archive the investigation into his death.”