Sponsors Bardiani Valvole Spa and CSF Inox Spa have expressed their continued support for the troubled Bardiani CSF team. Two of the squad's riders, Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni, returned positive doping tests and were suspended only hours before they were due to start the Giro d'Italia.
That news "has struck us and leaves us bewildered. We cannot do nothing, but only dissociate from what happened," the sponsors said in a joint statement. "It is indeed the result of a personal choice made by the athletes involved. This situation encourages Bardiani Valvole SpA and CSF Inox SpA to increase public awareness about sport as a body pure and spirit activity."
Instead of being discouraged by what happened, the companies, "This confirms that our choice to sponsor timeless, independent and durable values, was right. We affirm our choice and want to push even more on it: in fact two bad apples can be removed and replaced by four healthy apples.
"We uphold in a clear and unequivocal way our trust in Bruno and Roberto Reverberi as #GreenTeam Managers. Sport project launched in 2013 is absolutely not under discussion, as well as the will to strengthen it much more."
The statement said, "The mistakes of few persons, will not work against the principles of respect and integrity which the company has always been committed in order to increase their value in work, sport and everyday life, and beyond of any speculative interests.
"We always love the sport for what it represents, we will always protect anyone who's its part, and those who makes sacrifices for it. We will always condemn those who violate the rules following the wrong interpretation of their basic values, pointing the result as the final aim of a way made with loyalty, appreciation of the person, sacrifice and daily commitment."
The team started the Giro with only seven riders. Under UCI regulations, they may still be taken out of the race, as teams with two doping violations in a 12-month may be suspended for 15 to 45 days.