The city of Stuttgart has threatened to sue the UCI if Danilo Di Luca and Paolo Bettini start in Sunday's World Championship road race. Di Luca is allegedly on the verge of being suspended on doping-related charges, and Bettini has still not signed the UCI code of ethics, the city said.
A spokesman for the city told the dpa press agency that it feared the loss of sponsors and television coverage, saying the damages could be as high as one million Euros.
UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani has said that Bettini's signature is not necessary for him to start. however, Susanne Eisenmann, the Championships organizer and the city's chief of sports, has said that the city does not want him to start. Bettini's attorney told the dpa that his client had signed a document acceptable to the UCI on July 10.
CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee, is said to be ready to suspend Di Luca for three months for working with the "doping doctor" Carlo Santuccione.