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Police raids at the Giro
By Staff
Date: 5/26/2004
Police raids at the Giro
The recent history of Giro d'Italia taught us that the race wouldn't be the same without any Police raids in hotel rooms. And even this year, the Italian Police and Carabinieri played their part, as they searched the hotel rooms of a few teams during the past night. Although this time the raids, authorised by Rome prosecutor Paolo Ferraro (who said the fact it all takes place at Giro d'Italia time is just a coincidence anyway), were just a small part of broader investigations, carried out by about 700 Carabinieris and Tax Policemen in 28 different Italian provinces, and concerning Epo and Nesp trafficking, that involve 138 persons, among which are several Italian athletes competing in different sports, most of them in the amateur scene.

As for the Giro, the NAS (Nuclei Anti-Sofisticazione, anti-drug branch of the Carabinieri) searched rooms of eight riders belonging to six different cycling teams: Domina Vacanze's Alessio Galletti and Mario Scirea, Fassa Bortolo's Fabio Sacchi, Acqua & Sapone's Ruggero Marzoli, Formaggi Pinzolo-Fiav's Giuseppe Muraglia, Vini Caldirola's Simone Masciarelli and two teammates of Maglia Rosa wearer Damiano Cunego: Saeco's Eddy Mazzoleni and Alessandro Spezialetti. The Carabinieris stayed at the "Saeco hotel" for about three hours (from 04:30 to 07:30 AM), although just 15 mins were dedicated to the search, and the rest to writing police reports and looking after the bureaucratic side of the matter. Some medical documents were reportedly seized for further investigation during the hotel raids, even though the Saeco doctors said that nothing was taken from their team.

Damiano Cunego wasn't affected by the raids; the man in rosa returned to the saddle at 11:15 hours AM for his daily training session, and said that "the fact that they came here at that time of the night wasn't a pleasant thing for sure, but they were just doing their job anyway". As for Cunego's "searched" teammates Mazzoleni and Spezialetti, both of them said that they are "absolutely serene".

Investigators in Rome gave a press conference early in the afternoon, and told the press that plenty of documents and products were found and seized, and that the raids produced significant results, but nothing compromising was seemingly found on the cycling side of the matter. In spite of this, the eight aforementioned riders (most, if not all, somehow linked to Doctor Carlo Santuccione, a doctor already involved in previous investigations) remain under investigation. And so reportedly are seven more pro riders, as well 67 amateurs.

We'll keep you up to date with news and informations about any further developments, as soon as we get more infos on the subject.

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