Monday, February 6, 2012
"Bad Day" for Giro d'Italia
This afternoon Michele Acquarone, Managing Director at RCS Sport which owns the Giro d'Italia, tweeted "Bad day" in reference to today's suspension of Alberto Contador and the retroactive stripping of Contador's 2011 Giro d'Italia victory.
Later, Acquarone told cyclingnews.com , "I'm very upset but we can’t be quiet on this, I will need to produce a new trophy. Until this morning Alberto Contador was our winner. Tomorrow we’ll have a committee meeting and we’ll discuss if there’s anything we can do and how to work to protect our races. I believe big damage has been caused to the Giro, and there’s a big problem but I want to discuss it all with the staff and the CEO to understand. I’ve not read the sentence and what the judges have said but right now it’s too early. I need to take some time to understand and discuss with my people. Tomorrow we will make our position."
The idea of "how to work to protect our races" is exactly the dilemma that then race director Angelo Zomegnan faced in March, 2011, two months before the start of the Giro. His words at the time, "The sport's justice process is slower than we would wish. Clearly, something is not working in the guarantee of our event. I have my hands tied, I can not tell Contador to go home if he and his team want to take part. There is always the presumption of innocence and Contador at the moment is an acquitted athlete in a process and is free to race. But it is clear that this is not the ideal situation."
Obviously, this situation cannot be allowed to happen again. It will be interesting to see what changes are made in the UCI rules to prevent a re-occurrence of this kind, or if RCS Sport can take unilateral action to protect their event.
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