LAUSANNE (AFP) — After Mauro Santambrogio became the second Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider at the Giro d’Italia to test positive for EPO, team director Luca Scinto was not hopeful on Monday for the team’s future.
Danilo Di Luca tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test before the Giro began. Santambrogio registered a positive test in a sample taken following stage 1 in Naples. Santambrogio has been provisionally suspended by the sport’s world governing body, the UCI, until the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) makes a decision on the case.
Vini Fantini boss Luca Scinto was left devastated by the news and said it could bring down the second-division team, which competed at the Giro on a wildcard invitation.
“Everything’s finished, the whole project is finished,” he told Tuttobiciweb.it. “What do you want me to tell you, I’m distraught, I’m ruined. I defended him like no other rider before because from [the Giro start in] Naples there were awful rumors about him going around the peloton.
“I didn’t want to believe them and on more than one occasion I had a face-to-face with him. He told me: ‘It’s only jealousy, Luca, calm down. But you can’t keep asking me these questions because they’re offensive.’
“What can I say? We’re distraught, myself and Angelo [Citracca, the team manager], because we know perfectly well it’s a mortal blow.”