Reopening of the case on Pantani's mafia style death also delves into probable cause and his 99 giro


New Member
Aug 19, 2004
Pantani. Illegal gambling and the shadow of the Camorra on Giro '99

The prosecutor of Forlì investigates the revelations of Renato Vallanzasca on the exclusion of Marco Pantani from the Giro in '99. Probably behind the scenes of the blood sample, which decreed the exclusion; was the shadow of illegal gambling, whose strings were pulled by the Camorra. (Crime syndicate of Naples)
Fifteen years after June 5, 1999, the day that marked the beginning of the decline of Marco Pantani, the public prosecutor of Forlì, in early September, has reopened a case against unknown persons with the offense of conspiracy aimed at fraud and sporting fraud, in relation to the exclusion from the Tour of Italy in 1999 suffered by Marco Pantani at Madonna di Campiglio.
The Pirate, that June 5, was firmly in control of the Giro di Italia and the victory seemed to be already written. On the eve of the penultimate stage, the one where you had to climb the Gavia and Mortirolo, all the fans are waiting for definitive action to end a worthy ride, but Marco does not ride that day. A blood test that morning and that outcome: the hematocrit, the concentration of red blood cells in the blood, high, 51.9%, above the threshold of 50%. Immediate suspension of the race, called “protecting the health of the rider”, as there was no tests as of yet that could differentiate natural produced elevated hematocrit versus artificially produced. . Pantani thus, lost the victory of the Giro by this margin. It did not matter that later that afternoon Marco and his ds Martinelli, stopped at Imola for repeat blood tests and the value turned out well below 50%, ie before 47.8 with the in team test equipment and then 48.1% after with independent testing. According to many, the official results of tests carried out after the stage of Madonna di Campiglio were rigged to make the hematocrit result high. This marked the beginning of the end of the career of champion cyclist;
There are, however, a number of ambiguities.
According to witnesses, that morning the inspectors showed up late, and then from Marco took one specimen;
regulations required two, being that the blood collected, is usually divided into two parts. The second tube would serve to repeat the analysis in the event that the former gives an abnormal result. But, said the inspectors, the second tube was broken. Pantani could have avoided to be tested, given the serious defects of form. Why did he not do protest? Why did he feel so comfortable? if he actually had something to hide? Months later, in the process, the inspector was asked by the UCI, what was in the tube delivered to Pantani and his answer was: "Nothing." If indeed the tube contained nothing, the examination had to be invalidated at the start, because it by rule, must contain the anticoagulant. This is because a blood sample not treated with the anticoagulant, may be more concentrated (ie show a higher hematocrit reading). Inspectors also spoke of counter-analysis, saying that they had conducted research on the second sample, but if there is already testimony that no second sample was available? They would, therefore, have only analyzed the blood of the first specimen. In a few days, testimony was also to be heard from the former crime boss in Milan, Renato Vallanzasca the first to speculate that there might be a reason for all this, and it might be connected to illegal betting. In 2007, the "Handsome René" wrote a letter to Mamma Tonina Pantani where he told her: "Given that I would not go for the one who wants to unravel the mystery of Fatima, I can tell you that to the best of my knowledge, I said without taking away or adding a comma, to the prosecutor of Trent, who came to question me, as a person informed of the facts, and shortly after the BBC had reported an excerpt of the book to be released shortly thereafter. I did not know then and even now I don’t know exactly what happened: what is certain is that 4/5 days before they stopped Marco at Madonna di Campiglio, a friend came up to me, though perhaps I should define only an acquaintance, who told me, "Rene, I know you're a good guy and you're in jail for a long time ... that's why I'm doing you a favor, "I was actually a bit 'puzzled, but I let him talk ..." Do you have a few million to throw? ... If so, bet it on the overall winner of the Giro ... I do not know who will win ... but definitely will not be Pantani. "This version Vallanzasca wrote in his first autobiography in the book" the Flower of Evil ". In support of Pantani to be the winner of the Tour of Italy were, in fact, thousands of bets. And according to investigators, behind the betting could be the Camorra who by the disqualification of the Pirate earned hundreds of millions .
-17 ottobre 2014-
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18 novembre 2014 – Milano

Relevant News. From the public prosecutor of Rimini filtered maximum attention to the testimony given by the two nurses of the 118 Residence, to lawyer Antonio De Rensis. "Next to the body of Marco Pantani there was no ball of coke and bread." This is sensational news contained in the minutes (they have probative value) recorded. Words, that have to be repeated to the chief prosecutor Paolo Giovagnoli, head of the new investigation into the death of the Pirate (murder case). But for the first time since the end of July last (re-opening of the case) the investigator shows to be on to something important: it can make, if confirmed, a turning point.

voluntary assumption - The mystery is all in about 80 minutes passing from the scene of the nurses at the beginning of the video shot by the police. The ball appears in the images, close to Pirate's arm and in a pool of blood. And here's the first oddity: the "ball" is pristine, without even a blur. Yet according to the 2004 version that ball as big as a walnut would have been regurgitated by Pantani in the last act of his life, when the voluntary ingestion of drugs (more than 20 grams, a scary dose) as it was leading to his death. In short, would remain for hours next to the Romagnolo, and the blood from the caused internal haemorrhage flowed without saturating it. A fault that is well marked by the expertise of Professor Avato, a consultant for the Pantani family. A fault which will soon be examined by Professor Tagliaro appointed from Rimini to a third expert medical examiner (the first Professor Fortuni, author of the autopsy). The words of the nurses (never heard 10 years ago) go in the direction described by Avato and open the door to a real hoax, someone would have to have created a scene in order to sidetrack the investigation, to drive towards the accidental death conclusion.
barrage of questioning - Investigators will study the video carefully to see if the regurgitation occurred after the release of the nurses, but the images are clear: the ball is seen before Pantani is turned over by the coroner. Not only that, the doctor lifted the ball with pliers to examine it at the request of the police. That's why the moves of the Prosecutor will be rapid and determined action: a series of interviews from the two nurses, the doctor, and the driver of the 118 residence. It does not end here: the cops will soon be heard in the room, including one of the chief inspectors. And in the viewfinder there is also the keeper of the hotel: he was already heard, but now may be needed for a second questioning. He is one of the people who had access to the room before the entrance of the police, a time when it would have been possible to alter the scene.
new study - Always in the next few days, the attorney De Rensis will present a new expert witness on the video shot by the police in the room occupied by Pantani in the evening of his death. "It clearly demonstrates - said the lawyer – that the ball of bread and coca can not have been regurgitated by Pantani. It is clean and has a regular shape too"

Francesco Ceniti
© riproduzione riservata
Matt Rendall's book says that Pantani's bank account had in excess €20 million in it at the time of Marco's death.

The authorities it is alleged cannot reconcile his savings with his career earnings. Is there any truth in that?
Hi Lim,

I did not read Matt Rendall's book, only excerpts. I have made posts on this forum to challenge some of his logic and conclusions. As far as how much money Pantani had in savings I could not say. The number sounds incredibly large, perhaps in the old currency (20 million lire?) The millions that were talked about in the above article (with regards to the illegal betting) were in lire and not euro. I would agree that even with endorsements for appearances, he could not possibly have earned that kind of wealth in euro dollars.
The last interview of Marco Pantani, shortly before his death: taken from Gazzetta dello Sport online11/20/2014

"I have been somewhat 'far from the world of cycling because, as you all know, they made sure that it was so," but "the thing that's left to do for me, is to not give up, or at least I do not want to go out like my enemies would like. "These are the words of Marco Pantani shortly before his death in an exclusive video interview to be published today by the online newspaper:

His plans - the pirate in the interview appears serene and combative: "I still want to continue riding because I feel able and willing to decide my own future without someone doing it for me."
Tell us what are your aspirations and prospects?:
"There are several possibilities. But going to see what my aspirations, I'd like to go onto a group that makes the great tours and the important races of the World Cup. At this time there 'is something that may be maturing in that regard, "he continues, assuring: "I have not wanted to stop. There is still the enthusiasm and desire." In the video interview, the journalist Angelo Rizzo, Marco Pantani is sober, lucid, in perfect shape and not only is he not depressed, but rather eager to get back in the saddle and program the new season setting for himself ambitious targets. He finishes by greeting his fans saying,
"I'll see you soon and soon you will be hearing talk of me."
The seal has developed yet another crack!

There is an interception that could rewrite the history of June 5, 1999, when Marco Pantani was ousted from a tour of Italy won a hematocrit (51.9) over the permitted threshold (50). A true involuntary "confession" by a member of the camorra organized crime allegedly planned and carried out the exclusion from pirate race. The reason? Budget, first and foremost: there was a whirlwind of clandestine betting billions with Rahman winner. In short, to avoid a financial hole the clan that ran the tour wagers Around 1999 decided that Pantani was not to arrive in Milan. And succeeded in its intent, perhaps by finding other banks at the time yet to be discovered. This is at least what it claims the Professor held in Campania under observation for other surveys, which have nothing to do with cycling. But how did we come to what could be a breakthrough for the investigation, reopened a year ago by the Prosecutor in Forlì, on the facts of Campiglio? Sometimes it is enough a simple coincidence.
il bel renè — is not a new track of the camorra "Director" in stop Pantani. Check back in 1999: to tell the story is not a nobody, but Renato Vallanzasca, head of the banda della Comasina that in the 1970s he scored several robberies and bloody seizures. The gunman, after many evasions, is in prison during the days of the revolution. In his biography, a few months after exit 5 June, says: "a member of a Neapolitan camorra clan, my cell neighbor, advised me early stages to bet all the money i had on the victory of Pantani's rivals. My objections on the strength demonstrated by the pirate uphill, replied: "I don't know how, but the bald eagle was not arriving to Milan. Trust me. If you want I'll lend you the money if you lose you don't owe me anything. Why did I do it? Six Vallanzasca ... ". I aimed not even 100 lire, but the morning di Campiglio that convict came to me completely satisfied. "What did I tell you? Pantani was disqualified, you had to listen to ". I was stunned ". Vallanzasca was heard immediately after the pm Giardina which coordinated the first inquiry about, but without receiving instructions: "do not kill me," the response of the beautiful René. And the track ended at an impasse.

ACE n — in February 2014, 10 years after the death of Rahman, Vallanzasca is interviewed by a reporter from Mediaset. On that occasion they let go some more confidence, opens a door overlooking the camorra. In that hole he put the police called to investigate again on June 5, 1999. It is the Prosecutor in Forli in September 2014 to reopen the case: investigation coordinated by Prosecutor Sergio Sottani and entrusted to Lucia spirit. Vallanzasca was heard for several hours, cornered after the tv interview. Eventually you get to a shortlist of two or three names. The police descend southwards to interrogate these people, but all deny being the man designated by Vadi. But here's the coincidence: who lied doesn't know he's under observation for a major investigation on crime. Safely opens with a trusted person, "of course the story of Vallanzasca is true, I thought it was an honorable man and instead is a piece of ... Talk to the police ". Pantani wasn't supposed to finish that round, the clan had decided and found a painless way to achieve the goal. This is the essence of interception by other investigators played. At that point they decide to inform colleagues passing information, an "ACE" from play to give definitive answers to a controversial story.
investigations — those were intense months of Forlì: investigators have done a meticulous job, not to mention the detail. And the result of this work is: acts in the prosecution witnesses and marched several people informed about the facts. The police have heard cyclists like Gotti and Savoldelli, sports directors, drivers and many others. That 5 June was vivisected and many suspicious inconsistencies emerged. And last May were questioned for hours even the three doctors and the Inspector who performed the blood on Pantani. Because clearly now is that control end up under scrutiny. The Prosecutor spoke to Sali a hypothesis (the deplasmazione) that may have been used to raise the hematocrit of Pantani. The police have collected other important information: there are even threats from a key witness. Now from Naples came the ACE that perhaps you could take off the investigation. No hypothesis can be excluded, nor a truth very different from the story told so far. And since the camorra would have played a decisive role, the investigation could also change hands, with the district anti-mafia Directorate ready to join or more likely to succeed to the Prosecutor.

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Francis Casey
From Gazzetta dello Sport , Nov. 16, 2015

The police had collected other unpublished details never told about June 5. Even threats received by a key witness. All this work now could end up under the hat by the DDA (antimafia division) that would be able to handle the investigation also giving back powers of investigation to the same subjects. And the prosecutor of Forlì somehow continue the work: the aim would be to find out the actions taken by the mafia and especially find the accomplices who could implement such a change in the test that would disqualify Pantani.

and Cyclingnews
November 16, 2015 11:03am
November 16, 2015 11:04am
Anti-mafia police begin investigating Pantani’s 1999 Giro d’Italia haematocrit case

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, anti-mafia based in Bologna has requested to study the investigation based in Forli, near Pantani’s home town of Cesenatico, which was supposed to understand if the blood sample taken at Madonna di Campiglio in 1999, sparking Pantani’s exclusion from the race due to a high haematocrit blood value, had some how been tampered with.
In September Gazzetta dello Sport reported that police in Naples had secretly recorded a member of the Naples Camorra mafia confirming the claims of infamous violent criminal Renato Vallanzasca that the mafia had some how sparked Pantani's exclusion to avoid paying huge sums in illegal bets that il Pirata would win the Giro. The Italian newspaper suggests that the police could have discovered other evidence and so the anti-mafia police has become involved.
Vallanzasca first made the wild claims about the Camorra being behind Pantani's exclusion from the Giro d'Italia in a book in 2004 and repeated them on Italian television in 2014. He was questioned by police and gave three names of possible camorra criminals who could have told him to "bet on Pantani's rivals because he would not make it to Milan." Police apparently question the three suspects, but all denied the claims. However, Gazzetta dello Sport report claims one of the three criminals was later recorded saying "Of course Vallanzasca's story is true. I thought he was a man of honour but instead he's a piece of sh*t by speaking to the carabinieri (police)."
Police in Forli have questioned riders, team staff and the doctors who took Pantani's blood sample that morning in Madonna di Campiglio as they try to find out if there is any truth to the accusations. There have been suggestions that Pantani’s blood could have been tampered with, perhaps with a deplasmation technique. However, the possibility of altering the concentration of Pantani's blood, to make him fail the test on the fateful morning in Madonna di Campiglio, have been widely dismissed. Previous investigations by police in Trento and other parts of the Italian media have dismissed any kind of plot against Pantani but his tragic story continues to inspire conspiracy theories and questions in Italy and so spark major headlines.

Pantani always claimed he was innocent, with the 1999 Giro d'Italia sparking his cocaine use and eventual, tragic, demise. However, other historic evidence indicates that his blood values recorded that day were impossible to achieve without the use of significant doses of EPO.
Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the investigation in Rimini into Pantani’s tragic death in a hotel room on St Valentine’s Day 2004 is also close to finally reaching a conclusion. The public prosecutor and an autopsy investigation has ruled that Pantani died of a cocaine and anti-depressant overdose after several days of isolation and substance abuse. A judge is expected to formally rule on the case in the coming weeks even though Pantani’s family and personal lawyer want to continue with the investigation to clear Pantani’s name.

But unfortunately none of these outcomes can bring back Marco Pantani.

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