Androni Giocattoli team manager Gianni Savio has admitted he is implicated in a doping investigation but has denied any wrong doing and refuted accusations by former rider Luca De Angeli
De Angeli rode for Savio’s team in 2005 but tested positive for EPO and was suspended for two years. He then suffered personal problems but decided to speak out two years ago and accused Savio of dealing doping products when giving evidence to the anti-doping investigators at the Italian Olympic Committee. This sparked the police investigation.
Savio dismissed De Angeli’s accusations as a vendetta.
“It’s a vendetta because I didn’t give in to his requests for money for the presumed damages that doping caused him. He went to the anti-doping investigators showing them syringes and phials that he’d kept for six years. But I’m ready to do anything to prove otherwise, including a DNA test,” Savio was reported as saying on the Tuttobiciweb website.
“I don’t even know what an ampoule of EPO looks like and I’ve no need to deal doping products. There’s no way I’d deliver a mobile fridge with that stuff inside.”
The news of the investigation first emerged as the Giro d'Italia began in Savio’s city of Turin. Several riders were forced to miss the Giro after being caught up in the Mantova doping investigation but Savio insisted the accusations were totally unfounded. He has the backing of his sponsors and is determined to carry on in the Giro.
“They’re crazy accusations by two very dubious people. I’ve spoke to the director of the Giro Angelo Zomegnan and I’ll give him copies of the documents so that he can understand how clear my position is.”
De Angeli responded to Savio’s defence in a letter to Tuttobiciweb and said further claims would emerge during the Giro.
“I was in a tunnel for far too long but its time for me to come out and I hope other riders who have so far kept quiet, will do the same thing,” De Angeli said.
“I’m amazed that people are talking about a clean Giro and that Zomegnan hasn’t taken action even because we are talk about facts, not just rumours. The documents show that Savio is involved in a criminal investigation.”
“Savio likes to be called ‘il Principe’ but he shouldn’t try to play the victim by talking about my private life. My lawyer will reply to what he’s said. He’d be better off looking at himself in the mirror. This Giro will be an uphill battle for him because soon my version will be backed up by another rider who has also found the courage to come out. The trial documents will say the last word and then even money or friendships won’t be able to bury the whole thing.”