Di Luca: "I didn’t get paid for the interview"
Italian refuses to give details of his doping accusations
Danilo Di Luca has told Cyclingnews he did not get paid for the controversial interview that will broadcast on Italian television on Wednesday night, but has refused to add further details to his accusations that 90% of riders who contest the Giro d'Italia dope and that it's impossible to finish in the top ten at the Giro with doping.
"I didn’t get paid but I don’t want to talk for now, I've nothing more to say," Di Luca told Cyclingnews, before ending the conversation.
Di Luca's vague accusations have sparked a backlash from riders and from Valentino Sciotti, the boss of the Vini Fantini company, who insisted that Di Luca was made part of the team for the 2013 Giro d'Italia and covered much of wages.
In an extract released by the producers of the television show, Le Iene, that will broadcast the interview on Wednesday evening, Di Luca was careful not to reveal specific information or name riders, doctors and team staff who may have helped him dope during his career.
He talked about blood transfusions but without specifying if he ever used them to dope. He admitted doping since he was an amateur but did not confess to doping when he won the 2007 Giro d'Italia. In theory he could still lose that victory if he makes a full confession.
Di Luca also spoke about Lance Armstrong, suggesting the Texan would still have won the Tour de France seven times if he had not doped.
"When I was found positive, he talked about me and said I was stupid," Di Luca said of Armstrong.
"He said that because I was doped. But I know Armstrong: he won the Tour de France seven times and he would have won them even without doping. He became part of the system too."
No remorse about doping
Di Luca now owns a bike shop near his home near Pescara on the Adriatic coast, and also owns a bike brand. He seemed to show little remorse about his doping, suggesting that he made a simple mistake about when he took EPO.
"The thing I regret is being caught," Di Luca said. "I made a mistake with the timing. It's just a matter of hours. Perhaps five hours before or five hours after, and I wouldn't have tested positive. Though it's not mathematically certain."
"You're not being fair, Danilo"
Valentino Sciotti of the Vini Fantini company hit back at Di Luca's accusations in an open letter published by Tuttobici and called on him to speak to anti-doping investigators rather than on a television show, where no-one has the right to reply.
"You're not being fair, Danilo. I helped you in one of the most difficult moments of your life and you promised that you'd have nothing to do with doping. But you did it and have refused to help those who investigate the problem. Now you're going on television and firing off about a world that welcomed you back, forgave and supported you, and which can't defend itself against your accusations," he wrote.
"Why don't you understand the pain you cause every time you say something? I'm really disappointed but I don’t think it's right that other people have to pay for your stupidity or for those who have followed your road.
"It's time you started to apologise, that you shut up or speak to the right people, so that other Danilos don't damage such a great sport. Despite everything, I think cycling can be a clean sport and offer an ethical message for those who love it, manage it and take part in it."
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.