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Report: Mario Cipollini was a client of Fuentes

By:
Cycling News
Published:
February 9, 2013, 08:52,
Updated:
February 9, 2013, 11:16
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, February 9, 2013
News breaks in Italy that Mario Cipollini was a client of Dr Fuentes

News breaks in Italy that Mario Cipollini was a client of Dr Fuentes

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Italian said to have blood-doped in 2002 World Championship year

Mario Cipollini was a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. The Italian is said to have been given blood transfusions, EPO and growth hormones in the year 2002, when he won amongst other the World Championship title and Milan-San Remo.

Cipollini, also known as the “Lion King” for his flamboyant personality, told Gazzetta that he had “no comment” on the charges until he'd studied the documents involved. 

The Italian sports newspaper claims to have evidence of the doping relationships, with headlines of “Here are the documents which accuse Cipollini” and “The truth hurts.”  It published what it said was Cipollini's doping scheme, with what Het Laatste Nieuws called “a clearly structured doping program with EPO, growth hormones, blood transfusions and other doping products” for 2002.

Cipollini's code name in the Spanish doping scheme is said to have been “Maria”, and records are said to be available for the years 2001 to 2004. The records for his outstanding year of 2002 are said to show a blood transfusion three days before Milan-San Remo and further transfusions before Gent-Wevelgem, the start of the Vuelta and a last one four days before the Worlds road race in Zolder.

That year, the 35-year-old Cipollini rode for the Italian team Acqua e Sapone – Cantina Tollo.  He won not only the World road title but also Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem, six stages at the Giro d'Italia and three stages at the Vuelta a Espana.

Cipollini, with 191 professional wins in his long career, was considered the greatest sprinter of his generation, if not of all time. He turned pro in 1989 and retired in 2005, making a brief return to the peloton in 2008 with Rock Racing. He won a total of 12 Tour de France stage and 42 stages at the Giro d'Italia.

Edo Aleksandarević More than 1 year ago
I entirely support Lance being stripped of his results, but I also think that there should be some form of coherence whereby the same rules are applied to all. If this is proven to be true, can we assume that Cipo (who was truly one of my favourite riders) will also be stripped of his results from 2002? Is it just me or is professional cycling seeming more and more like professional wrestling?
la.margna More than 1 year ago
To be honest, that would probably imply to remove just all podiums from any pro cycling race of the last hundred years, maybe with the exception of a few races since introduction of the UCI blood passport (I hope). All premiums collected should be returned and put into a fund that supports those I did NEVER dope and were driven out of the sport because of this. Well, it's never gonna happen obviously. But then again, if we do this with cycling, we should do it with most other pro sports as well. Let's not forget that detailed doping plans were found with Fuentes to prepare FC Barcelona for collecting the 2006 champions league title. And let's not forget tennis, sailing, athletics, ...
TShame More than 1 year ago
I always suspected this guy was cheating. Erase him from history. And how much money was spent on tests that never worked to catch cheaters?
jbenedict More than 1 year ago
Are you crazy? Mario made for some of the best cycling entertainment I can remember.
rums ranger More than 1 year ago
Fair point, Ed. For me, what separates LA from the rest of the motley bunch is the extent of criminality: the persistent perjury, vitriolic law suits and the like. He wasn't just a silent pedlar (no pun intended) of the darker arts, he was actively pushing its boundaries whilst brazenly suggesting otherwise. It's a degree of separation, granted, but one that to me cuts that much deeper. Perhaps you are right though. The men would do well to listen to the bitter retirement statement of the greatest British cyclist of this generation, Nicole Cooke: " I am appalled that so many men bleat on about the fact that the pressures were too great. Too great for what? This is not doing 71 mph on the motorway when the legal limit is 70. This is stealing somebody else's livelihood. It is theft just as much as putting your hand in a purse or wallet and taking money is theft. Theft has gone on since the dawn of time but because somebody, somewhere else, does it, does not mean it is right for you to do it. There can be no excuse."
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Nope, gonna put the kibosh on that. We´re talking about doping in sports, and all doping should have the same sporting consequences, crime or not. So, thus, Cipo out to lose all of his results as well, even though I love Cipo. But Cipo is a big enough name that he could put an end to all this nonsense if he ups the ante by calling out everyone - by that I mean all those who think that getting rid of the dopers will FIX the sport. Look, all were doping. All riders of any consequence were doping. All the heros are fakes. Get over it and live with it. Nicole Cooke is a different matter. She´s upset because the market isn´t the same for Women´s cycling and men´s cycling. Women´s cycling is great. They are great athletes. But the market demand is simply not there, and thus, Nicole should shut her trap and work on the business side of it if it is so unjust. But she´s out of touch, simple as that. So, if Lance loses all, then Cipo must as well. Simple as that. But this idea that Lance´s criminality has anything to do with the sporting end of things is tiresome. Doping is doping and once you strip results and livelihoods, you must strip EVERYONE´S. The crime should be sorted out in the criminal courts.
rums ranger More than 1 year ago
Broadly I share your sentiments - doping is a crime and should be punished accordingly. But LA went further than just committing that crime, he committed many many more in the process of covering his tracks. So he has more to pay for. You'd be hard pressed to drag, say, Laurent Jalabert through the courts in the same manner though he was, as a top rider (for an unseasonal number of years) during that era, probably on the sauce too. Cooke's full statement is worth a read, if you haven't already. She is indeed bitter about the male/female inequity but is also has suffered many times at the hands of dopers,both directly in races and indirectly through team pressure on her to dope; it's not just about inequality. I reckon Cipo will either flatly deny all, or (hopefully) hold an all-out news conference in which he wears an angelic white suit and weeps copiously into the microphone as he pleads for forgiveness from the tifosi (which he won't need to plead for)..
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
I love the smell of clarity in the morning. Spot on, epofuel!
perfessor More than 1 year ago
Hey EPO, you obviously didn't read what Cooke said, or your reading comprehension needs work.
danjo007 More than 1 year ago
nicole cooke is as bad as the rest. she sat idly by until retirement to say something. GUILTY by association, which she knew full well about. it was a pathetic attempt at sounding like a goodguy
brian meahan More than 1 year ago
Doping generally does have the same penalty in cycling. LA received a different penalty not just for doping but for his actively pushing doping on to other cyclists and intimidating witnesses
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The problem with this whole situation is people yourself that post absolute ridiculous claims on how there is different levels of cheating and how LA needs to take most of the blame because this or that. Bottom line is- All the cheaters need to be treated the same. Maybe Cipo ruined various lives along the way but there is not record of it to share with the public. You need to separate your emotion bro.
danjo007 More than 1 year ago
wow rums. thats just an uninformed opinion which is pretty ordinary!
reubenr More than 1 year ago
Having had to listen to Cipollini (which interestingly comes up as "polyclinic" when spell checked) pontificate about riders over the last several years, suggests to me that he should be nothing short of dragged through the streets, like another "ini." Professional Wrestling is "entertainment." It is not fraud. It is pretending, not lying. Wrestlers are actors as much as they are athletes and have probably abused themselves to look the way they do and to that extent it may destroy lives but not with deceit, the way cycling did and still does. In short, cycling can never aspire to be wrestling. Although I feel deceived, I feel sorry for those that didn't cheat, as another poster stated far better than I, not because they didn't cheat, obviously, but because these were the people that were truly cheated. I would like to know more about these cyclists and their stories.
aguy88 More than 1 year ago
vince mcmahon was very careful to characterize professional wrestling as "sports entertainment" -- key word being "entertainment." this made them exempt from many of the drug testing standards that apply to sport (not that that matters for the nfl, nba, mlb, etc.). i hate doping, but what i don't get is that people seem to be more outraged about doping in pro cycling vs doping in the football, basketball and baseball.
reubenr More than 1 year ago
You're probably right but, personally, I stopped watching those 3 sports a long time ago, when everyone starting looking the same, i.e. steroid features in terms of muscular development. It was probably around the time when Roger Clemens made his comeback. It didn't seem possible. I was convinced by then. I was thinking about watching fishing shows but I turned to cycling instead. Whew! What a mistake but I still like to ride. As for those 3 sports, I think the Administrations did a much better job on concealing the length and depth of the doping. As the Lance fans prove, people want to believe, so even if you give them a half ass*d bunch of bs, like you are trying to keep the sport clean, people go for it. They had a lot more to lose by coming clean, TV rights and all. It makes you wonder if those sports are not "entertainment," too. I remember when Sonny Werblin drafted Namath and Theisman in the same year and gave them both an incredible first year salary. Werblin, who was Broadway showman type guy, said they should be paid like any other star in entertainment. And so it all came to pass.
fantastic_dan More than 1 year ago
let's remember that Lance would have kept 5 of his TdF victories if he had cooperated with the USADA, due to the 8-year statute of limitations. My guess is that, unless they are unwilling to cooperate with the authorities, no cyclist would need to worry about being stripped of results before 2005. Lance decided to take on the USADA and lost big-time. I'm guessing others won't make the same mistake.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
I am yet to see where Tygart gave Armstrong the opportunity to come forward and cooperate...... perhaps I missed a chapter there...
slowlegs More than 1 year ago
Its all well and good pulling up the past, but its just getting BORING, I went to France to race in the eighties and drugs were around then, even in cat 2 races, how many races did I loose because of dopers??? You can not change the past, move on, get this problem sorted change who runs the sport because they don't care either, then maybe we will have a sport that is cleanish.
berrilo More than 1 year ago
Would you not change your race cars engine oil in a season. I cannot believe people dont know what preperations are going on in the pro cycling world. It just shows most people who cast stones have no idea of the rigors these cyclists put their bodys through to race. A rider dosn't look at it as cheating its preparing for a race. Most are being paid pittance to carry huge companies on their backs as a moving caravan. It is just as radical and unethical in the business world but we wont bring that down will we ??? Move on and mind our hypocrisy and let the caravan roll along.
Edo Aleksandarević More than 1 year ago
What a load of rubbish! What you say would be fine if it weren't for the guys who did things honestly and were cheated out of the glory that their hard work deserved simply because they played by the rules and didn't decide to cheat.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
None that won anything or finished in the top postions could do that without using EPO and the like... noboddy is cheated, because everyone used.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
That is b/s pure and simple Bachus. keep wheeling out that apologist creed "everybody cheated" and by typing it over and over again, maybe you can keep pretending the relief from facing your hero's epic disgrace is anything but temporary.
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
While the probability exists that great number of the top riders doped, I cannot accept the existing mindset which facilitates a situation that since everyone did it, it is OK. We cheer for a rider whom we are led to believe is has won an honorable race and has reached his accomplishment through superior talent and training. He didn't, and we were horribly lied to. The doper who came in second was not cheated - WE were. I don't give a crap about what PLACE a doper came in. Everyone who rides around in a Farm Frites, U.S. Postal or Rabobank jersey was cheated. We were cheated by believing in a team that dominated or did really well, but did so dishonestly. We were all cheated out of our money if we bought a team kit or generally cheated if we cheered for them at all - (unless we were fine with cheating and chose to cheer for the best cheater). I certainly do not cheer for the "best cheater". I still love the sport, but have since reduced any attachment to the performance of a particular rider or team because I feel they have all cheated me. I cannot accept a "well, they all cheated, so let's call it even and move on" answer. Cheating is cheating. It is deplorable.
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
While the probability exists that great number of the top riders doped, I cannot accept the existing mindset which facilitates a situation that since everyone did it, it is OK. We cheer for a rider whom we are led to believe is has won an honorable race and has reached his accomplishment through superior talent and training. He didn't, and we were horribly lied to. The doper who came in second was not cheated - WE were. I don't give a crap about what PLACE a doper came in. Everyone who rides around in a Farm Frites, U.S. Postal or Rabobank jersey was cheated. We were cheated by believing in a team that dominated or did really well, but did so dishonestly. We were all cheated out of our money if we bought a team kit or generally cheated if we cheered for them at all - (unless we were fine with cheating and chose to cheer for the best cheater). I certainly do not cheer for the "best cheater". I still love the sport, but have since reduced any attachment to the performance of a particular rider or team because I feel they have all cheated me. I cannot accept a "well, they all cheated, so let's call it even and move on" answer. Cheating is cheating. It is deplorable.
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
While the probability exists that great number of the top riders doped, I cannot accept the existing mindset which facilitates a situation that since everyone did it, it is OK. We cheer for a rider whom we are led to believe is has won an honorable race and has reached his accomplishment through superior talent and training. He didn't, and we were horribly lied to. The doper who came in second was not cheated - WE were. I don't give a crap about what PLACE a doper came in. Everyone who rides around in a Farm Frites, U.S. Postal or Rabobank jersey was cheated. We were cheated by believing in a team that dominated or did really well, but did so dishonestly. We were all cheated out of our money if we bought a team kit or generally cheated if we cheered for them at all - (unless we were fine with cheating and chose to cheer for the best cheater). I certainly do not cheer for the "best cheater". I still love the sport, but have since reduced any attachment to the performance of a particular rider or team because I feel they have all cheated me. I cannot accept a "well, they all cheated, so let's call it even and move on" answer. Cheating is cheating. It is deplorable.
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
While the probability exists that great number of the top riders doped, I cannot accept the existing mindset which facilitates a situation that since everyone did it, it is OK. We cheer for a rider whom we are led to believe is has won an honorable race and has reached his accomplishment through superior talent and training. He didn't, and we were horribly lied to. The doper who came in second was not cheated - WE were. I don't give a crap about what PLACE a doper came in. Everyone who rides around in a Farm Frites, U.S. Postal or Rabobank jersey was cheated. We were cheated by believing in a team that dominated or did really well, but did so dishonestly. We were all cheated out of our money if we bought a team kit or generally cheated if we cheered for them at all - (unless we were fine with cheating and chose to cheer for the best cheater). I certainly do not cheer for the "best cheater". I still love the sport, but have since reduced any attachment to the performance of a particular rider or team because I feel they have all cheated me. I cannot accept a "well, they all cheated, so let's call it even and move on" answer. Cheating is cheating. It is deplorable.
iride712 More than 1 year ago
Yes, that is the point! the honest guys were cheated horrendously by a system that supported and promoted the use of PED's. The problem is, performance enhancing has existed in cycling since it started, and in just about every other professional athletic pursuit. The sad part is the honest guys either accepted it and became a user or not accept - and remain as pack fill or "survivors" or out of pro peloton. Lance has a lot to answer for, that is true, but we cannot pursue him solely. It is the so-called authorities and regulators of the sport who let this crap happen for so many years that MUST BE held accountable. Not just in cycling, but in ALL sports!
berrilo More than 1 year ago
What im saying is I know these guys are not doing it honestly thats easy to tell, but every one who coments or throws stones sounds like they have never cheated at any thing before. Can anyone say they have never cheated on their tax form its the same thing. Would cycling have been better off without Cipo?
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
The reason people don't (or didn't) know about these 'preparations' is that they are kept secret, because it's not allowed, and if you get found out, you get banned. If the riders don't think of it as cheating, they are wrong. They make money because of the cycling public/fans/viewers, who do not accept doping.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
What ???? Super Mario and Luigi popped in the same day? Pro cycling has become a video game - perhaps, as as the LA apologists have evolved to say, it is only "entertainment" after all. Thanks Heil Hein and Phat for debasing our sport to a new lowest of lows. How those guys have any role is beyond unbelievable. What a joke.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
Offcourse Chipolini used these products, everyone did in that time, i don´t see any newsvalue in htis topic. lets accept the past and fight for a new and dope free cycling sport. I can point out some suspicious teams from last years results, start your investigations there. And we all know what teams performed extraordinary last year... where other teams like the rabobank, performed only on par in the minor races but lost in the big events. Allready there are many substances available in todays top sport (well here is the newsvalue, its not only cycling) which cant be detected by any test right now. Would be sad to find out in 5 years that we can proof drug abuse by todays top cyclists.
gyp1962 More than 1 year ago
This is sad sad journalism. Let's ignore the many Italian prosecutions of the 90's and just focus on Rendell's book on Marco Pantani of 2006, that's 7 years ago, which amongst other things list Cipollini as a client of Ferrari in the 90's etc, and also list his 1996 hemocrit test in Bologna as 54.4, ready for the Olympic Games. Its plain to see that this is cheap 'the gate was open the horse has bolted storytelling' and if anyone stopped Armstrong gazing and started looking beyond the one man doping story being pedalled by journo's to lazy to investigate what other journo's said years ago! we could actually move on and clear the history books of all the results not just one mans 7 victories. Then we could get to the 'solution', which I like to think has 'criminal fraud' as it's basis and jail as it punishment. And the focus needs to turn to the doctors and importantly the suppliers, the riders are only part of the story.
danjo007 More than 1 year ago
i really think your comment is too intelligent for the mouth-frothers to understand. well said.
generic More than 1 year ago
So in 5 years we will find out that Cavendish, Wiggins and Greipel are also dopers. Surprise, surprise!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
and their winnings placings will be stripped and earnings returned!
wiseguy More than 1 year ago
It should be no surprise to anyone who follows the sport that Cipollini doped - what is surprising is that he allowed himself to be called "Maria."
Jesus from Cancun More than 1 year ago
Brilliant!
Wallace More than 1 year ago
Really? Change one letter, from Mario to Maria, and you have a "code-name"? That isn't even trying. No wonder Tyler said the only doping doc with half a brain is Ferrari. And for all you posters going on about He Who Has Nothing To Do With This Case: give it a rest.
gregod More than 1 year ago
i was wondering if and when mario would be implicated in doping.
minimcewen More than 1 year ago
Stupid...and maybe true. Who cares. Next they will want to strip Tommy Simpson of his death on Mont Ventoux because it was from doping and not natural causes. Just put into place a "real" drug screen for these racers and let them race. Really, where did all this "got to race clean" stuff come from? I started in 1982 and as far back as I can remember people have been trying to "dope" with something; new sports drinks, drugs, caffeine, cortisone, blood....the sport has NEVER been clean. So put a standard in place and just move on. If they figure out a way around it and don't die in the process so be it. Little kids (who supposedly look up to them) are not going to go out and get doping doctors and elaborate doping schemes to race in junior races, just like most High School football (american) players are NOT smoking crack or snorting cocaine (like their sports hero's do in the NFL). In fact, if they do anything it's smoke pot which is not performance enhancing. Point being MOVE ON...look at all their answers to questions. Most of them doped because they all say "move on" which we should. Spending resources on the past is lunacy. I also say this....make the Tours shorter or quit griping about doping because athletes (the best) obviously feel they can't perform that long without doing it.