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No deal imminent for Pellizotti

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas - Doimo)

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas - Doimo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Franco Pellizotti’s agent Alex Carera has denied report that the Italian rider is close to signing with the Movistar team, explaining that any decision on his future will only be made after a final verdict on his Biological Passport violation.

“I’m meeting with Franco on Friday but we won’t make a decision about his future just yet,” Carera told Cyclingnews.

“We’ve decided to wait until the whole situation is resolved and hopefully that Franco is cleared, so that he can make a full comeback. If he is cleared he would be able to earn a lot more than if he signs a contract now.”

The UCI requested the Italian Cycling Federation to investigate Pellizotti just a few days before this year’s Giro d’Italia after spotting variations in his blood values. He was not selected for the Giro by his Liquigas-Doimo team and missed the rest of the 2010 season but was then cleared by the Italian national anti-doping court (TNA) on October 21.

The UCI has yet to decide if it will appeal against the sentence at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Several teams including Movistar, Team Sky, Acqua & Sapone and Liquigas were linked to Pellizotti when he was cleared in Italy. Movistar seems the most logical destination for Pellizotti because the Spanish teams lacks stage race contenders after losing Luis Leon Sanchez to Rabobank. However Carera insists time is not a problem.

“Franco’s goals are later in the season and so it’s not vital he has a team in place for the start of the 2011 season. We can wait. This is a very delicate case and so it’s more important that a final verdict is reached before any deal is done.”

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Stephen Farrand

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.