Savio acquitted in doping trial

Gianni Savio

Gianni Savio (Image credit: Steve Thomas)

Androni-Giocattoli general manager Gianni Savio has been acquitted of criminal wrongdoing after being accused of providing doping products to riders, his team announced Thursday.

Judge Ermanno De Mattia of the court in Massa made the ruling on accusations by retired racer Luca De Angeli that Savio provided him with EPO. De Angeli raced for Savio's Colombia-Selle Italia team in 2003 and 2005 before he tested positive for EPO at the Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi-Bartali in March of 2005 and was fired.

The team called the charges "groundless and slanderous", while Savio said the verdict came about because of investigations he has conducted with his attorney Giuseppe Napoleone, which "have been decisive in proving the absolute unreliability of the ex-rider and of his witnesses."

The troubles of the charismatic team manager are not over, however. The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has separately recommended a four-year ban for Savio on sporting grounds.

Savio expects to be cleared any wrongdoing in the case, stating that at the time of its recommendation, the CONI did not have access to some of the evidence in the case.

"I have been accused of a crime I didn't commit or even come close to committing, and I am certain of being able to demonstrate that with established proof," he said earlier this week.

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