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"The victim is not Taborre, but his teammates who did not ride for more than a month because of him and Appollonio. Some of them are without a contract for next year."

Photo: Jérémy Günther-Heinz Jähnick

ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI

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FABIO TABORRE

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04.12.2015 @ 07:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Gianni Savio does not mince his words. After Fabio Taborre’s recent statement, the Androni-Sidermec manager explains the policy of his team which includes an agreement signed by all riders at the start of the season, stipulating that they have to pay a 100,000 euro fine if they test positive. Furthermore, Savio and the rest of the team have sued both Taborre and Davide Appollonio who also tested positive while riding for the team.

 

"Fabio Taborre asks whether this is the way to fight doping,” he tells Cyclingpro.net. “My reply is ‘Yes, this is the way to fight doping.’  In desperate times, you need desperate measures. I believe that in the past I have demonstrated that I am ready to give a second chance to riders. I had riders who had tested positive. I gave them a second chance because there was a time when it was in the grey area between being illegal or legal, like Pellizotti who was acquitted by the national authorities and then suspended by CAS in Lausanne. Without going into the details of the case and while respecting the ruling, we had a special situation. Scarponi was involved in Operation Puerto when he was young and in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was another time for cycling. So I gave him a second chance. At that time I recived criticism, but I'm glad that I did it in that moment of history. I would do it again because it was a different time than the present. Then I said that riders involved in doping cases will no longer be hired. I gave Pellizotti a second chance at that time and since then he has been an example and is absolutely beyond reproach.”

 

The team manager of the historic Italian team is relatively skeptical about the attitude of his former rider, describing the idea of sabotage as "ridiculous and absurd.” “The fact that Taborre presents himself as a victim is completely wrong and is an attempt to change reality," he adds, explaining how Taborre "now proclaims to be innocent now after five months," while "at the time, in early July, he did not ask for a counter-analysis and didn’t respond to a letter from the team.”

 

That attitude has deeply impacted Savio.

 

"For my part I have a clear conscience because I havesaid since then that we would be inflexible because it was impossible that some riders in our team could use doping products,” he said. “He did sign the rules of procedure, parallel to the contract, in which it is specified how the use of any medicine without written prescription from our team doctor, Maurizio Vicini, is absolutely forbidden. Those that are not well and have health problems, have to stop, recover and then return to racing. So my conscience is absolutely clear. When I add a penalty as a further deterrent, it is precisely because we never put pressure on the riders: commitment, yes, but we never asked for results at any cost. Those who decide to cheat did so at their own risk and will suffer the consequences. There is no need to make yourself a victim. The victim is not Taborre, but his teammates who did not ride for more than a month because of him and Appollonio. Some of them are without a contract for next year. I do not say that they would definitely have had a contract, but they would have had a better chance of getting one.”

 

"Those two riders deserve to be punished and Taborre and Appollonio get the treatment they knew they would get,” he adds. "I have made the rules, accepted by everybody, saying that we are inflexible when it comes to those who have broken these rules. Today doping is a crime under Italian law and those who commit a crime have to be punished. Of course it is a minor crime, but it is still a crime. I have used the term criminal because under Italian law it is a crime. Our meetings always start with two workshops, both about doping. The first is held by doctors (Vicini and Giorgi) who explain the aspects to protect the health of the riders and the second is held by lawyer Napoleone who explains the penalties and that doping is a crime.”

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