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Saronni: “Too Much Hypocrisy On Doping.”

– Reported by Gazetta dello Sport –

The team manager of Lampre-Daikin: “Some who today preach severity were yesterday looking for short cuts. But not everyone in the group is corrupt”.

Caserta, 21 May 2002 – “I read the newspapers, I watch the TV and it makes me laugh: they’re full of words from guys who would do better to stay quiet”. Giuseppe Saronni, campionissimo of 70’s and 80’s and today team manager of Lampre-Daikin, after several seasons with Panaria and Mapei, talks for the first time about the storm of doping that still infests Italian cycling and, as a reflection, the Giro. “They make too much confusion, they have a mouth full of effectual phrases and good propositions, but they are the same that I have heard spoken in ’99, after the Pantani-case at Madonna di Campiglio, and last year after the blitz in Sanremo”.

“We will make it clear: certain judicial inquests, like those that are prosecuting Varriale, have started months ago and the Giro has nothing to do with them: in my opinion, they have to do with cycling in a more narrow sense, seeing the nature and the scale of the trafficking of illicit substances that seem to have emerged with the recent investigations. What concerns me is the non-negative cases, those of Garzelli, Sgambelluri, and Zakirov: these are actually tied to the Giro. But I do not believe that all of the peloton is corrupt: there have been large steps forward, in the controls and in the mentality of cyclists. The old mentality rests in the pockets of resistance, the cyclists who do not want to understand that the winds have changed. They are being eliminated, but attention must be paid so that not everyone is grouped together. Attention, above all, to the restlesness of the protagonists: I’ve heard Moser announce the expulsion of cyclist who return a positive dope test. That’s great, heaven knows, but he speaks as the president of the International Association of Cyclists, and like such, before releasing binding words, he would need to consult and listen to the arguments of his assistants. It appears to me that he hasn’t done this, on the contrary, many do not understand what is the official position that he represents”.

“One says that the sporting groups need to more to control their athletes: but if it doesn’t succeed in an organization such as Mapei, who spend 20-25 million (ed. – euro) a year on cycling, who have a dedicated medical center and has obtained quality certification on their own athletes, how could the others teams do it? The truth is that italian professional cycling needs to be composed of seven or eight squads, not 15, like now; teams that are based on the do-it-for-yourself, with all the deficiencies, and medicines, that are a consequence. I say that certain personalities that right now laugh at the scandal and preach maximum severity are the same who, twenty years ago, had started all of this: a cycling made by short cuts”.

– Source: Gazzetta dello Sport

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