Mountain Bike Champion Officially Cleared of Drug Charges
Tuesday, January 27, 1998
Pezzo tested positive soon after getting the World Cup in Annecy, FRA
(photo: Brent Brookler)
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
[Pezzo Charged] [Doubts over Guilt] [Charges Cleared]