Pantani's Mother Seeks New Inquest



Uh-oh, shades of Pantani for Martina Hingis. She tested positive for cocaine. Maybe just like Pantani, this is why she has never been able to reach her former level.
 
Il Pirata - You clearly care very much for the man but there is no real point in both of us trading all of the evidence that favours MP and all of the evidence that goes against him or for that matter regurgitating all that has already been written. You wish to believe something and regardless of how much evidence points to the contrary you will continue to hope that the loose ends add up to a compelling case for the defence.



On some of your points:



I don't accept that MP's coke habit began as a desperate attempt to escape reality. He was a rich superstar indulging in the usual trappings of drugs. It did, however, become his crutch in the latter part of life when it was all he apparently cared for. Are the suppliers his persecutors? Well, they certainly took advantage of a weak man and, as suppliers, are criminals but many times he had the chance to break free of their grasp and he didn't take it. His original suppliers were small-time hoods from his local town and it was back there that MP kept running to get his fixes. Later, it was these same contacts that used to arrive at the training camps to supply him with his junk. Or drive him away from the camps and from the supervision he was supposed to be under.



On Blood doping etc:

MPs natural hematocrit, based on medical reports before he became famous was around 42. By the time testing became widespread he regularly came in at the magical number 49. His levels clearly peaked and troughed during the year depending on his racing objectives and can be seen visually in Rendell's book - it's not opinion, it's fact. There is no known medical reason for such fluctuations to take place naturally, never mind to coincide with major races.

Marco, like those around him, was playing the EPO and blood-doping lottery game. The idea that huge rises and falls in HMTCRT levels can be blamed on falls and accidents was the same excuse that Vino tried this year - it doesn't wash and only the most gullible believer would give any credit to such an argument. "Say it isn't so Joe!"

The masseurs, teammates etc. who you quote bear no credibility as they were part of the same circus. Unless, of ocurse, you also believe all the other riders who can roll out the same defence arguments. Look how difficult it is to nail any of these riders beyond all possible doubt - even today when there are blood bags full of their **** and bank transfers to the doctors they still try to deny it. Stats and medical records can be bent in any which way to support the rider, no matter how ridiculous the claims. The riders themselves will say anything to continue the deception - and their buddies will back them up.



As far as testing goes, the testing process was known to favour the riders - when random tests were going to be done was generally leaked the night before to give the riders a chance to flush out the evidence. Back then the Tour did not want its stars geting chucked out - bad for business. The testers that day, however, tested Marco earlier than he wanted - unlike in previous tests when he would show up late for his appointment having done his laundry. His later self-submitted testing at another hospital to "prove" he was back down to 48 is worthless based on the known procedures of the cheats.

Please remember 48 in itself is an unaturally and extremely rare high level in the world of sport and way above his own natural level. Medical evidence also proves that in sustained tests of endurance the level goes down not up yet the riders, funnily enough, can come it at 49 two weeks into the Tour when they have been tested at 43 out of season - strange, eh?


As far as the other stuff goes, betting and fixing of events is an unfortunate blight on sport and unquestionably happens - especially in Italy. If MP was a victim or a willing participant in that I have no idea. I don't believe it was something, however, that played a major part in his downfall, he did that all by himself.

 
limerickman said:
I wouldn't dismiss this theory.

International sport has been under serious attack from two things : doping and betting syndicates.
Look at international cricket for example : look at how bookies corrupted it (Hansi Cronje).
Look at football (soccer) : floodlit matches being sabotages by electrical blackouts to save the thousands bet on the result of games.
Look at the execution of the Columbian soccer player, Andres Escobar, by gansters because he made a mistake in match and paid for it with his life.
Look at how Bob Woolmer's stance against corruption made him a target.
The list is endless.

The essence of sport is under attack.
I'm not trying to vindicate Pantani - but there certainly did seem to be a lot of forces who were centrally interested in how Pantani performed on the bike.
Gambling is a bad thing for sports. Here in this country we have sports betting , but the "ball" leagues do try and keep gambling out of the actual teams and players. I would like to think they are somewhat successful. And who knows?
It seems that gambling and sport go hand in hand. Most sportsmen I know seem to like to gamble.
In America we have this ongoing debate concerning Pete Rose and his exclusion from the baseball Hall of Fame. [Pete Rose was one of the greatest players in baseball who got caught gambling] As much as i liked Pete Rose, I am of the "no Hall of Fame for you" crowd.

I believe many sporting events in this country of a national scale have been "thrown" for the sake of gambling. [ I am almost certain that the Duke-UNLV game in 1991 was thrown. ]

Pantani's did seem to fall from grace very quickly. Cocaine can do that to you. If a race organizer wants you out of a race, it can be accomplished. Eddy Merckx has claimed he was innocent when he was DQ'ed at the Giro. He has never denied any of the other positives, but he does claim innocence on that one. And I believe him.
 
Denia said:
Il Pirata - You clearly care very much for the man but there is no real point in both of us trading all of the evidence that favours MP and all of the evidence that goes against him or for that matter regurgitating all that has already been written. You wish to believe something and regardless of how much evidence points to the contrary you will continue to hope that the loose ends add up to a compelling case for the defence.



As far as testing goes, the testing process was known to favour the riders - when random tests were going to be done was generally leaked the night before to give the riders a chance to flush out the evidence. Back then the Tour did not want its stars geting chucked out - bad for business. The testers that day, however, tested Marco earlier than he wanted - unlike in previous tests when he would show up late for his appointment having done his laundry. His later self-submitted testing at another hospital to "prove" he was back down to 48 is worthless based on the known procedures of the cheats.

Please remember 48 in itself is an unaturally and extremely rare high level in the world of sport and way above his own natural level. Medical evidence also proves that in sustained tests of endurance the level goes down not up yet the riders, funnily enough, can come it at 49 two weeks into the Tour when they have been tested at 43 out of season - strange, eh?


As far as the other stuff goes, betting and fixing of events is an unfortunate blight on sport and unquestionably happens - especially in Italy. If MP was a victim or a willing participant in that I have no idea. I don't believe it was something, however, that played a major part in his downfall, he did that all by himself.
Can't argue with any of that. Excellent rebuttal.
 
wolfix said:
Gambling is a bad thing for sports. Here in this country we have sports betting , but the "ball" leagues do try and keep gambling out of the actual teams and players. I would like to think they are somewhat successful. And who knows?
It seems that gambling and sport go hand in hand. Most sportsmen I know seem to like to gamble.
In America we have this ongoing debate concerning Pete Rose and his exclusion from the baseball Hall of Fame. [Pete Rose was one of the greatest players in baseball who got caught gambling] As much as i liked Pete Rose, I am of the "no Hall of Fame for you" crowd.

I believe many sporting events in this country of a national scale have been "thrown" for the sake of gambling. [ I am almost certain that the Duke-UNLV game in 1991 was thrown. ]

Pantani's did seem to fall from grace very quickly. Cocaine can do that to you. If a race organizer wants you out of a race, it can be accomplished. Eddy Merckx has claimed he was innocent when he was DQ'ed at the Giro. He has never denied any of the other positives, but he does claim innocence on that one. And I believe him.

That's why I wouldn't dismiss any of the claims of conspiracy around Pantani.

Sinister forces have always tried to influence the outcome of sporting events.

You only have to look at boxing for example, or baseball "say it ain't so", or horse racing.
These sports, among many, have a long history of being subjected to syndicates trying to influence sporting results.

It is known that very powerful betting syndicates have taken stakes in many international sporting events, soccer world cup in 1994 (Andres Escobar),
2007 Cricket World Cup, various international cricket series in the 1990's.
Strange, unexplained circumstances surrounded each of these events : and the probable explanation is that betting syndicates were at work.
(Hansi Cronje, the South African Cricket captain admitted that he took bribes from syndicates to take decisions to alter the result of matches).
Huge sums of money were involved for the syndicates if their "result" came about.

Cycling is the second most popular sport in Italy after football.
No insult intended but Italian soccer has been riven with allegations of match fixing.
It is not inconceivable that Pantani may have been under the same pressures.
 
Yes the riders who lived the events have no credibility, while the credibility of Rendell is without question?
Is he also your reference for MP normal hematocrit of 42?
I doubt that value is true, I have not read that anywhere. The doctor of the Mercatone Uno, team had it at over 45 typically at the time of the 1999 giro.

That 48 is an unusual high value is simply untrue. Mine typically comes in a 48. How many riders have certificates to ride above 50 now? If it was deemed to be unnatural they could never be granted a certificate. I am not saying that every certificate is to be considered beyond suspicion, but, Hematocrit in and of itself proves nothing, that is why the very next year they introduced the hemoglobin and hematocrit combination requirement. A combination positive meant it was pretty certain that synthetic epo was used. It is in fact the hemoglobin, that provides biggest impact on performance. Pantani on all three analysis, i.e. the Friday evening 48, the Saturday morning 52, and Saturday afternoon hospital 48 all showed hemoglobin at 16. The 3/1 ratio indicates normal, i.e. Pantani would not have been stopped in 2000. Now of course they have a urine / blood test which is used to find synthetic epo use.
I am not so naïve to think that Pantani did not use any synthetic epo, or other aids. So if he used like the rest, is he not as guilty of cheating as the rest? I could not argue with that logic. The only problem I have is that he has not been treated like the rest. When in fact he was never found positive in competition for any controlled substance. He was a great climber as a youth, so he could not be simply called an epo phenomenum. And in contrast to the specialized preparations of recent tour de france champions, he road and won stages at multiple grand tours and won overall gc at multiple grand tours. This is rarely attempted any more because it creates difficulties resulting from extreme fatigue, with scheduling targeted altitude training, and blood bag preperation schedule.

Now with respect to the 60% hematocrit from hospital following his Milan-Torino 1995 crash, three hematologists at the hospital said the values were understandable from the injuries suffered, and that they could not be considered a normal blood test for an athlete. For those, a retain is taken in the morning at rising, on an integral athlete, on an empty stomach. Not to mention that Pantani was riding the race in the back of the pack and not even trying to win having just come back from racing in the mountains of Columbia. Training at elevation can effect hematocrit as well of course. The interesting thing is that this stuff of no substance, is given a false significance 5 years later when Pantani has been targeted for destruction, for daring to say he was set up falsely. And then not taking the out offered him. The out was to confess to having used epo.

Denia said:
Il Pirata - You clearly care very much for the man but there is no real point in both of us trading all of the evidence that favours MP and all of the evidence that goes against him or for that matter regurgitating all that has already been written. You wish to believe something and regardless of how much evidence points to the contrary you will continue to hope that the loose ends add up to a compelling case for the defence.



On some of your points:



I don't accept that MP's coke habit began as a desperate attempt to escape reality. He was a rich superstar indulging in the usual trappings of drugs. It did, however, become his crutch in the latter part of life when it was all he apparently cared for. Are the suppliers his persecutors? Well, they certainly took advantage of a weak man and, as suppliers, are criminals but many times he had the chance to break free of their grasp and he didn't take it. His original suppliers were small-time hoods from his local town and it was back there that MP kept running to get his fixes. Later, it was these same contacts that used to arrive at the training camps to supply him with his junk. Or drive him away from the camps and from the supervision he was supposed to be under.



On Blood doping etc:

MPs natural hematocrit, based on medical reports before he became famous was around 42. By the time testing became widespread he regularly came in at the magical number 49. His levels clearly peaked and troughed during the year depending on his racing objectives and can be seen visually in Rendell's book - it's not opinion, it's fact. There is no known medical reason for such fluctuations to take place naturally, never mind to coincide with major races.

Marco, like those around him, was playing the EPO and blood-doping lottery game. The idea that huge rises and falls in HMTCRT levels can be blamed on falls and accidents was the same excuse that Vino tried this year - it doesn't wash and only the most gullible believer would give any credit to such an argument. "Say it isn't so Joe!"

The masseurs, teammates etc. who you quote bear no credibility as they were part of the same circus. Unless, of ocurse, you also believe all the other riders who can roll out the same defence arguments. Look how difficult it is to nail any of these riders beyond all possible doubt - even today when there are blood bags full of their **** and bank transfers to the doctors they still try to deny it. Stats and medical records can be bent in any which way to support the rider, no matter how ridiculous the claims. The riders themselves will say anything to continue the deception - and their buddies will back them up.



As far as testing goes, the testing process was known to favour the riders - when random tests were going to be done was generally leaked the night before to give the riders a chance to flush out the evidence. Back then the Tour did not want its stars geting chucked out - bad for business. The testers that day, however, tested Marco earlier than he wanted - unlike in previous tests when he would show up late for his appointment having done his laundry. His later self-submitted testing at another hospital to "prove" he was back down to 48 is worthless based on the known procedures of the cheats.

Please remember 48 in itself is an unaturally and extremely rare high level in the world of sport and way above his own natural level. Medical evidence also proves that in sustained tests of endurance the level goes down not up yet the riders, funnily enough, can come it at 49 two weeks into the Tour when they have been tested at 43 out of season - strange, eh?


As far as the other stuff goes, betting and fixing of events is an unfortunate blight on sport and unquestionably happens - especially in Italy. If MP was a victim or a willing participant in that I have no idea. I don't believe it was something, however, that played a major part in his downfall, he did that all by himself.
 
Il Pirata - First off, Rendell is a good, profesional writer and huge cycling fan with no axe to grind against Pantani. He clearly tried to write a fair and balanced account based on all the evidence that was available to him. There is no reason to suppose that Rendell would be party to any cover up or in any way linked in with those that you believe were out to harm MP.

In this book, Rendell exposes results of rider's hematocrit levels during the course of three years - 1993 to 1995. Remember that the hematocrit levels are an indication (albeit indirect) of the use of blood doping or EPO. A normal individual, as based on the averages of millions of males, would have a hematocrit between about 40 and 43%, while a trained athlete could see this get up to about 48%, possibly even 50% if that person has done altitude training. However, it is also important to remember that when a cyclist is training hard, his hematocrit levels will fall. Therefore, in the peak of competition, it is normal to see relatively lower hematocrit levels, in even the elite athlete population.

So what does the data say? The graph below is a rough summary of the information from Rendell's book. It shows the hematocrit of riders who were part of a state run programme by the University of Ferrara in Italy. Highlighted in red are the periods where cyclists would be competing in the Tour de France or Vuelta. The bars in green are the "off season" where cyclists are not racing and blue are mid-season. Remember, it would be normal to see that the hematocrit is highest during the rest period, and lowest during the racing season. Yet it is quite obvious from this graph that it is the other way around, and that is something that would presumably only be possible if the athlete was using a product such as EPO.


The graph also shows the values of one Marco Pantani (yellow triangles), and you can see how in 1995, his hematocrit reached an astonishing 64%! This kind of variation just cannot be explained by anything other than pharmaceutical use.

In his book, Rendell concludes that "There is incontrovertible evidence that Marco’s entire career was based on r-EPO abuse, which was both effective and, until 2001, undetectable by tests used in professional cycling. Is it reasonable to suppose that the most successful period of his career, from 1998 until 5 June 1999, depended on anything else?

If marco was one of those athletes who had a naturally high hematocrit level his medical records over the course of several tests woud have been submitted to the governing bodies as an explanation for his results (or at least used as evidence years later when he was being dragged through the courts on a continuous basis). This didn't happen of course.

To say he never failed a test is playing on a technicality - when he got thrown off the Giro in 1999 it was in the days when a rider was removed for "his own health" if they had unnaturally high levels and after a couple of weeks out of competition they were allowed to resume work. In other words, taking EPO wasn't at that time a criminal offence. (As an interesting point, of the nine teams tested that day only Marco was above the 50% limit).

Why Pantani was singled out in Italy for persecution or made a scapegoat - who knows? I'm sure Floyd Landis, Tyler hamilton, Vino, Jan Ullrich and the gang all feel that they have been ruined as well by the unfair intervention of the testers. All have used the same defence - deny, deny, deny!
 
again you quote me Rendell! Beautiful graph,very professional, italian data no less. I can make a very professional looking graph on EXCEL myself. And I might even use a bogus hospital result from late Oct. 1995.
“But how can a blood sample taken 15:00 after a racing and trauma be considered normal”,writes Sante Tura well known hematologist. In the next few days hematocrit and hemoglobin dropped to alarming levels the point that transfusions were needed. Several doctors of the CTO of Torino attributed this anemia to the gravity of the fractures and declared it a normal occurrence for an patient in the condition of Pantani. According to Dr. Fiorio, “After the operation Pantani evidently had lost blood and was anemic. But in a operation like that, for sure with those kind of values hemorrhaging was taking place.”

And doctor Cacaci and others, describe the hematoma post traumatic in the left leg. The quadriceps largely swollen extensive deep contusion, bone fracture, edema and hemorrhaging requiring the administration of anti-coagulents and anti-flogistics.

As did in effect Prof. Cartesegna the operation physician at the time, say the values were all understandable. But 5 yrs later was recorded to say that this might have been due to extraordinary use of epo, to back the theory of Prof. Benzi of the antidoping commission, based on preliminary experimental studies, which the judge Del Bianco runs with. To sustain this hypothesis the judges statement goes on to say that Pantani only got better because someone must have snuck into the room to give him epo and not because of the therapies administered in the hospital. Rather unusual I would say.

An author who does not interview the people closest to the subject of his biography, who doesn't review the sources of his data, for me does not deserve such accolades.




Denia said:
Il Pirata - First off, Rendell is a good, profesional writer and huge cycling fan with no axe to grind against Pantani. He clearly tried to write a fair and balanced account based on all the evidence that was available to him. There is no reason to suppose that Rendell would be party to any cover up or in any way linked in with those that you believe were out to harm MP.

In this book, Rendell exposes results of rider's hematocrit levels during the course of three years - 1993 to 1995. Remember that the hematocrit levels are an indication (albeit indirect) of the use of blood doping or EPO. A normal individual, as based on the averages of millions of males, would have a hematocrit between about 40 and 43%, while a trained athlete could see this get up to about 48%, possibly even 50% if that person has done altitude training. However, it is also important to remember that when a cyclist is training hard, his hematocrit levels will fall. Therefore, in the peak of competition, it is normal to see relatively lower hematocrit levels, in even the elite athlete population.

So what does the data say? The graph below is a rough summary of the information from Rendell's book. It shows the hematocrit of riders who were part of a state run programme by the University of Ferrara in Italy. Highlighted in red are the periods where cyclists would be competing in the Tour de France or Vuelta. The bars in green are the "off season" where cyclists are not racing and blue are mid-season. Remember, it would be normal to see that the hematocrit is highest during the rest period, and lowest during the racing season. Yet it is quite obvious from this graph that it is the other way around, and that is something that would presumably only be possible if the athlete was using a product such as EPO.


The graph also shows the values of one Marco Pantani (yellow triangles), and you can see how in 1995, his hematocrit reached an astonishing 64%! This kind of variation just cannot be explained by anything other than pharmaceutical use.

In his book, Rendell concludes that "There is incontrovertible evidence that Marco’s entire career was based on r-EPO abuse, which was both effective and, until 2001, undetectable by tests used in professional cycling. Is it reasonable to suppose that the most successful period of his career, from 1998 until 5 June 1999, depended on anything else?

If marco was one of those athletes who had a naturally high hematocrit level his medical records over the course of several tests woud have been submitted to the governing bodies as an explanation for his results (or at least used as evidence years later when he was being dragged through the courts on a continuous basis). This didn't happen of course.

To say he never failed a test is playing on a technicality - when he got thrown off the Giro in 1999 it was in the days when a rider was removed for "his own health" if they had unnaturally high levels and after a couple of weeks out of competition they were allowed to resume work. In other words, taking EPO wasn't at that time a criminal offence. (As an interesting point, of the nine teams tested that day only Marco was above the 50% limit).

Why Pantani was singled out in Italy for persecution or made a scapegoat - who knows? I'm sure Floyd Landis, Tyler hamilton, Vino, Jan Ullrich and the gang all feel that they have been ruined as well by the unfair intervention of the testers. All have used the same defence - deny, deny, deny!
 
wolfix said:
Gambling is a bad thing for sports. Here in this country we have sports betting , but the "ball" leagues do try and keep gambling out of the actual teams and players. I would like to think they are somewhat successful. And who knows?
It seems that gambling and sport go hand in hand. Most sportsmen I know seem to like to gamble.
In America we have this ongoing debate concerning Pete Rose and his exclusion from the baseball Hall of Fame. [Pete Rose was one of the greatest players in baseball who got caught gambling] As much as i liked Pete Rose, I am of the "no Hall of Fame for you" crowd.

I believe many sporting events in this country of a national scale have been "thrown" for the sake of gambling. [ I am almost certain that the Duke-UNLV game in 1991 was thrown. ]

Pantani's did seem to fall from grace very quickly. Cocaine can do that to you. If a race organizer wants you out of a race, it can be accomplished. Eddy Merckx has claimed he was innocent when he was DQ'ed at the Giro. He has never denied any of the other positives, but he does claim innocence on that one. And I believe him.

UNLV threw a game to lose by only two points (on foul shots)? That takes some skill.
 
Let it go, son. You are trying very hard to exonerate your hero but face it, just everybody but you accepts that he was a recreational drug addict and big time doper. That doesn't make him unique or especially bad. It just means he was a weak and troubled individual who also conducted himself in his chosen sport in exactly the same fashion as all of his peers. It's a pretty simple story, really.
ilpirata said:
again you quote me Rendell! Beautiful graph,very professional, italian data no less. I can make a very professional looking graph on EXCEL myself. And I might even use a bogus hospital result from late Oct. 1995.“But how can a blood sample taken 15:00 after a racing and trauma be considered normal”,writes Sante Tura well known hematologist. In the next few days hematocrit and hemoglobin dropped to alarming levels the point that transfusions were needed. Several doctors of the CTO of Torino attributed this anemia to the gravity of the fractures and declared it a normal occurrence for an patient in the condition of Pantani. According to Dr. Fiorio, “After the operation Pantani evidently had lost blood and was anemic. But in a operation like that, for sure with those kind of values hemorrhaging was taking place.”

And doctor Cacaci and others, describe the hematoma post traumatic in the left leg. The quadriceps largely swollen extensive deep contusion, bone fracture, edema and hemorrhaging requiring the administration of anti-coagulents and anti-flogistics.

As did in effect Prof. Cartesegna the operation physician at the time, say the values were all understandable. But 5 yrs later was recorded to say that this might have been due to extraordinary use of epo, to back the theory of Prof. Benzi of the antidoping commission, based on preliminary experimental studies, which the judge Del Bianco runs with. To sustain this hypothesis the judges statement goes on to say that Pantani only got better because someone must have snuck into the room to give him epo and not because of the therapies administered in the hospital. Rather unusual I would say.

An author who does not interview the people closest to the subject of his biography, who doesn't review the sources of his data, for me does not deserve such accolades.
 
It is not everybody Gregers, but it may be most people. So you say I should go around with the majority cuz they must be right? That is a powerfully deep argument, wow I hadn't thought deep enough on it. Very well then let me just go on feelings and first impressions on the first things the media throws at me. Free press means true press in other words. Newspapers are never influenced by money! That would be a violation of the public trust. So Nazi Germany entered Poland, Austria, Czeckoslovakia in self defence just as the papers in Germany said. And US enters Iraq in self defence or was it WMD or to free the iraqi people. I can't remember all the truth I have read on it now. Yeah and margarine is better for me than butter, and an aspirin and a Lipitor a day is good for you. And formula is fortified with vitamins so better for baby than breast milk. Yeah you are right, things are so much easier this way, with big brother looking out for me, why worry and think to hard on stuff. I risk giving myself a headache.
Gregers said:
Let it go, son. You are trying very hard to exonerate your hero but face it, just everybody but you accepts that he was a recreational drug addict and big time doper. That doesn't make him unique or especially bad. It just means he was a weak and troubled individual who also conducted himself in his chosen sport in exactly the same fashion as all of his peers. It's a pretty simple story, really.
 
ilpirata said:
It is not everybody Gregers, but it may be most people. So you say I should go around with the majority cuz they must be right? That is a powerfully deep argument, wow I hadn't thought deep enough on it. Very well then let me just go on feelings and first impressions on the first things the media throws at me. Free press means true press in other words. Newspapers are never influenced by money! That would be a violation of the public trust. So Nazi Germany entered Poland, Austria, Czeckoslovakia in self defence just as the papers in Germany said. And US enters Iraq in self defence or was it WMD or to free the iraqi people. I can't remember all the truth I have read on it now. Yeah and margarine is better for me than butter, and an aspirin and a Lipitor a day is good for you. And formula is fortified with vitamins so better for baby than breast milk. Yeah you are right, things are so much easier this way, with big brother looking out for me, why worry and think to hard on stuff. I risk giving myself a headache.
What on earth are you on about. Try and get some perspective about this. Pantani, in common with many others, was just a talented rider who took a lot of drugs to make him go faster and took a lot of drugs to make him feel better. Everything else is just noise.
 
Gregers said:
What on earth are you on about. Try and get some perspective about this. Pantani, in common with many others, was just a talented rider who took a lot of drugs to make him go faster and took a lot of drugs to make him feel better. Everything else is just noise.
Gregers - love is blind and, with a name like Il Pirata, it may have a patch over one eye too. He will argue that Pantani was a victim of a variety of conspiracies - mafia, media, governing bodies, testers and hospitals to name a few - until the stars fall from the sky. If he's not a defence lawyer he has missed his vocation in life.

Shhh now, close the door quietly on the way out . . .
 
Denia said:
If he's not a defence lawyer he has missed his vocation in life.
That's it, I know who he is now. There is a loony, Italian born lawyer called Giovanni di Stefano who always acts as defence lawyer to the indefensible-Saddam, Arkan, Milosovic, kiddy fiddlers and their ilk. It's gotta be him.
Not that Pantani belongs with such company, of course, before he starts with another impassioned defence.