By Tim Maloney, European Editor
The disciplinary commission of the Italian Federation has censured Guiseppe Guerini and fined Filippo Pozzato €3,000 in a hearing arising from an incident in stage 18 of the 2004 Tour de France.
The commission found that Pozzato and Guerini had insulted Fillippo Simeoni after Simeoni returned to the peloton in stage 18. Simeoni had been in a breakaway that was chased down by Lance Armstrong, whom Simeoni is suing for libel in fall-out from the Ferrari case.
After the verdict, Pozzato told Cyclingnews, "I'm not happy but that's the way it came out. We're looking to see if now, this might become part of the official case [of Simeoni Vs. Armstrong]." Avv. Pasqualin, who defended Pozzato today in front of the disciplinary commission told Cyclingnews, "Frankly, we're perplexed with the entire situation. We think the decision is unjust. Fillippo offended no one; he didn't say anything directly to Simeoni and was sharing his opinion with the other riders in the group." Pasqualin, who primarily works with soccer players like Alessandro Del Piero of Juventus, added, "I have a lot of experience representing athletes who are being disciplined and I've never heard of any case like this in any sport." Pozzato, who is recovering from a cough and looking to get back on the road will likely head to the warmer climes of Tuscany for some training with his Quick.Step team leader Bettini.