Doubts Arise as to Pezzo's Guilt
Champion biker wants steroid saga over

Pezzo's Win at Houffalize, Belgium
(photo: Hans Prosl)
Thursday, January 15, 1998

It seems that reports of champion mountain biker Paola Pezzo's demise were premature.

In an exclusive interview with Pezzo's personal handler Luciana Rota, The Mountain Zone has learned that, for the time being, the heat is off the controversial cycling star. In fact, charges may be suspended altogether.

On the 17th of this month, CONI (the Italian anti-doping commission) will rule on whether Pezzo's case should be pursued further.

"I would like that this story is finished because I am training very hard for next season"

Last Friday, according to Luciana and sources at Trek/Fisher, Weerner Goehner, of the UCI Medical Commission, wrote a letter to CONI expressing serious doubts as to the veracity of the Paris lab's findings for three reasons: the lack of steriods in Pezzo's system before and after the Annecy race, the fact that women produce the substance naturally in their bodies - especially during menstruation; and the final factor, the high presence of steroids found in European meats which could have found their way into Pezzo's system.

As for Pezzo, resolution is all she is hoping for, telling The Zone, "we don't know the future. I would like that this story is finished because I am training very hard for next season. My aim is the next World Championship and I would like to set the hour record. Next is training for Sydney."

According to Luciana, Pezzo has had a busy winter. "She raced in a ski cross in Sgambeda, a big cross country ski race in Valtellina, Livigno. Now she attend the meeting of Coni and the National Federation on the 17th," he said.

Stay tuned for the final chapter within the week. — Ari Cheren, Mountain Zone Correspondent

Related Stories:
[Pezzo Charged] [Charges Cleared] [Pezzo Exonerated]

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