Zorzoli to leave UCI

Doctor leaves governing body with 'no stain on his reputation', says Cookson

The UCI has confirmed that Dr. Mario Zorzoli will step down from his role as the Scientific Advisor and UCI doctor at the end of July.

The Italian doctor was briefly removed from his duties as in March after accusations were made against him by former professional rider Michael Rasmussen. The Dane had given evidence in a USADA case against former Rabobank doctor Geert Leinders, and alleged that Leinders advised him to use the steroid DHEA (didehydroepiandrosterone) as a result of a recommendation from Zorzoli.

Those allegations were without sufficient evidence, the CIRC Report later found, and Zorzoli was reinstated but UCI President Brian Cookson told Cyclingnews that Zorzoli would be moving on, nevertheless, although he stressed that the doctor would do so without any question mark surrounding his reputation.

"Dr Zorzoli is leaving the UCI at the end of July. We thank him for his service and he's done a good job. He gave evidence to CIRC and they came to the conclusion that he had not done anything wrong during his tenure at the UCI. I respect that and I understand Mario wants to move onto new challenges. That's probably the right thing for him and for us."

The UCI have seen a number of staffing changes since Cookson took over as president in 2013 and Cookson added that Zorzoli's position would not be filled by a full-time replacement.

"There's always some natural turn over in any organisation and we've had some coming and goings. You'd expect that when any new administration took over. We've got some great people there and we've always had that."

"Because we have the CADF and it's totally independent we don't need a full time medical officer at the UCI so we'll be using a range of consultants."

When asked if Zorzoli's move away from the UCI was the doctor's choice, Cookson said: “Ultimately yes, and it works for him and us. There’s no stain on his reputation. Mario has resigned and we wish him well for the future.” 

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