Italian team under fire after two EPO positives
In the wake of the doping positives of Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Di Luca, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia has moved to dispel talk of the team's demise.
Santambrogio became the second rider from Vini Fantini-Selle Italia to fail a test for EPO after the UCI announced during the Giro d'Italia that Danilo Di Luca had failed an out of competition test taken before the start of the race. Santambrogio won stage 14 of the Giro to Bardonecchia in the snow and finished ninth overall despite fading in the final week of the race.
Directeur sportif Luca Scinto was quoted by Tuttobiciweb as saying "It's the end of our project," but according to the team, his comments were made in the heat of the moment.
"First of all I want to reassure the many fans who have written to us and who have written directly to him, about Luca Scinto," said team manager Angelo Citracca. "Scinto will continue his important work and will continue to lead our team. His announcements made immediately after the communication of positivity of Santambrogio, have been caused by a moment of despair that has betrayed the typical optimism of Luca, but his willingness to go on with our project is in no way in doubt. His saying ‘I leave everything' was just a momentary weakness."
US-based DeFeet announced this week that it was ending its sponsorship of the Professional Continental outfit. DeFeet chief executive said: "DeFeet will not support teams that do not provide a clear clean path 4 this new generation. I challenge other CEOs to stand up." However, the support of head sponsor Valentino Sciotti is not in question with financial guarantees in the place until the end of next season.
"Last evening at 7pm I had a call with our main sponsor Valentino Sciotti, now abroad for work, which has confirmed to me full confidence for the remaining part of this season and for the next one," Citracca continued. "So the aims and the structure of our project don't change and our project will go on in any case, even if, for strategic reasons than I could fully understand, the choices of Farnese group will change. But I want to underline that surely our team will go on, as much this year as in the future, considering that a lot of partners (including Farnese) have already given us positive signals and support, confirmed their confidence."
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