Bruseghin defiant after being dropped from the Giro d’Italia

Italy’s Marzio Bruseghin has hit out at being dropped from the Movistar team for the Giro d’Italia, insisting he can hold his head high despite being involved in the Mantova investigation.

Gazzetta dello Sport published extracts of phone calls involving Bruseghin and Mantova pharmacist Guido Nigrelli on Wednesday and vaunted that none of the riders caught up in the Mantova doping investigation will be at the start in Turin.

Riders such as Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), who are embroiled in the Padova investigation centred around Dr Michele Ferrari, will be allowed to ride the Giro but that is because that investigation has yet to be formally closed. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) will also ride the Giro as he awaits his appeal hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for his positive test at last year’s Tour de France.

“Everyone has the right to invite whoever they want. But it doesn’t seem the way to guarantee a clean race. But whatever happens they won’t take away my serenity,” Bruseghin told the Tuttosport newspaper.

“If I say I’m innocent, nobody will believe me. But I’ve got faith in cycling even if some people want to make you ashamed of your profession. But cycling is my job and allows me to pay my mortgage. I’ve always pedalled with pride and with my head held high. For this reason I think I deserve a little more respect. It doesn’t make sense that I’ve got to stay at home but Contador can ride. Even if I’m happy that the Spaniard is riding.”

Gazzetta dello Sport published extracts of the phone calls carried out during the detailed investigation. Italian police believe Bruseghin asked Nigrelli if he should take a micro dose of EPO in the evening or morning before a stage of the 2009 Giro.

In a conversation between Nigrelli and Alessandro Ballan, the pharmacist is reported to have said: “This will do you good. Take one and you’ll become an animal… don’t worry about the tests. You’ll see that Bruse (Bruseghin) will take them on Friday.”

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