Pezzo Exonerated
Mountain Bike Champion Officially Cleared of Drug Charges

Pezzo tested positive soon after getting the World Cup in Annecy, FRA
(photo: Brent Brookler)
Tuesday, January 27, 1998

Ending a scandal that would make even our Commander-In-Chief proud, Paola Pezzo has been cleared of doping charges (all previous stories listed below). According to a Reuters dispatch from Rome, Italy's Olympic Committee (CONI) dropped their investigation of the embattled cyclist on January 21st, ending a four-month long saga and giving a glimpse of things to come in the world of anti-doping. Responding to the UCI's claim of a "false positive", CONI followed an internal rule whereby investigations must be dropped when doubt about the results exists. Evidence of inaccurate test results were presented both by the UCI and Italian Cycling Federation.

After initially rejecting Pezzo's defense, CONI's anti-doping commission made their reversal after a series of meetings last Wednesday, clearing Pezzo of all charges and allowing her to race immediately. Had she been found guilty, Pezzo faced a six month ban from competition. According to Gian Carlo Cerutti, president of the Italian Cycling Federation, the closure of the case is "a relief for the whole of Italian cycling.''

Pezzo will continue her training before coming to Northern California for the World Cup kickoff in Napa. "Now we can think about the season calmly,'' Pezzo's coach, Paolo Rosola said. "Paola will start off very gently.'' She will first appear at the Trek-Fisher training camp Feb. 24th. Look for details and an interview right here in The Zone.

Ari Cheren, Mountain Zone Correspondent

Previous Stories:
[Pezzo Charged] [Doubts over Guilt] [Charges Cleared]

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