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Simeoni wants to exit with dignity

By:
Jean-François Quénet in Frascati
Published:
May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 22:24 BST
Edition:
Giro d'Italia Cycling News for May 18, 2007

Italian magistrate Ettore Torri clarified his comments on the physical threats that Ivan Basso could...

Italian magistrate Ettore Torri clarified his comments on the physical threats that Ivan Basso could face in the bunch, "where riders are likely to end up in the gutter", he said previously. At the stage finish of Frascati, he made clear that "this isn't a declaration from Basso." He interpreted what the winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia told him, "not only in his statement but also during our casual talks."

Torri also touched on the past allegations of threats against former Domina Vacanze rider Filippo Simeoni, who had a run-in with Lance Armstrong over Simeoni's testimony against Armstrong's friend and advisor, Dr. Michele Ferarri. In the 2004 Tour de France, Armstrong made an unprecedented breakaway to prevent Simeoni from having a chance at winning a stage. The move prompted Simeoni to file a lawsuit against Armstrong, which was later dropped. "We know that in the past, professional riders have been threatened," he continued. "I've read the files of the inquiry about Simeoni. He has been threatened. We must take it into account."

Filippo Simeoni was also present in Frascati. The 35 year-old rider from Aurum Hotels explained, "I only did what I had to do. I was asked by the court to testify about Dr. Ferrari because I was one of his clients and Lance Armstrong was another one. I've paid for the consequences of what I said, maybe too much. After that, I wasn't able to get a start in a Pro Tour team and I would like to receive an important sign from the cycling community before I stop racing because I'd like to finish with dignity."

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