Verbruggen: Simeoni stopping Armstrong riding Giro

'The' incident

'The' incident (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

UCI president Hein Verbruggen has said that Lance Armstrong is not riding this year's Giro d'Italia because of the dispute between him and Filippo Simeoni. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Verbruggen said, "Without the Simeoni affair, [Armstrong] certainly would have come to the Giro, he had promised me."

Verbruggen added that Armstrong's actions during the 18th stage of the 2004 Tour de France, where he followed Simeoni up to a breakaway and effectively killed the Italian's chances of getting clear, "did not deserve a penalty." A judicial investigation was opened in Italy after the incident, trying to determine whether Armstrong had threatened Simeoni, and whether he could be charged with sporting fraud, violence and intimidation of a witness. Thus, Armstrong could be questioned by police if he sets foot in Italy.

Armstrong and Simeoni are involved in another legal battle arising from Simeoni's testimony in the Dr. Ferrari trial, where Simeoni claimed that Dr. Ferrari had instructed him on taking doping products. Armstrong called Simeoni a "liar" after this, and Simeoni is now suing Armstrong for libel.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1