Want Mauro Vegni wants, Mauro Vegni gets. Kind of.
The head of the Giro d’Italia publicly asked the UCI to provide him with document that promises that in the salbutamol case involving Sky’s Chris Froome there will not be a repeat of the Alberto Contador saga back in 2011.
The Spaniard won the Giro and Tour that year only to be retroactively stripped of both grand tour titles for a doping violation. That possibility has reared its ugly head again as there is the potential for a long and complex legal battle between Froome and the UCI that likely continue through this years’ Giro and Tour — which Froome has stated he will race to win.
“We as Giro d’Italia organizers don’t want to stick our beaks in, but we want a certificate from the UCI that allows the rider to be at the start of the next Giro d’Italia. They will have to tell us if the rider is going to be suspended, or if he can compete,” said Vegni. “We certainly can’t accept a repeat of the Contador case or a trial after the fact.”
Today, David Lappartient has responded to Vegni’s plea for some kind of legal assurance from the sport’s governing body. Twisted Spoke has obtained a copy of the UCI letter that Lappartient sent to Vegni.
The letter informs Vengi that “It’s all good” and “Don’t worry about a repeat of that Alberto Contador problem. Really, you’re set.” The document ends with Lappartient wishing Vegni “a great Giro.”
However, the impact of the supposed “certificate” would appear to be undercut by the postscript below Lappartient’s signature. He laments that he’s “powerless to do anything. Especially with all Froome’s lawyers.” Nevertheless the UCI president closes on an optimistic note, advising Vegni to “Relax, what could go wrong?”
This strange saga continues to unfold, with, we suspect, plenty of more twists and turns to come. Stay tuned.
(Is this letter really true? Of course not, it’s a total comedy fabrication from Twisted Spoke. But admit pro cycling is crazy enough that you almost believe it.)
Here is your official “certificate” for Chris Froome. As president of the UCI, I hereby grant Chris Froome the right to ride the Giro d’Italia. It’s all good. Don’t worry about a repeat of that Alberto Contador problem. Really, you’re set.
Have a great Giro, David
P.S. Of course, I’m powerless to do much of anything. Especially with all Froome’s lawyers. But, relax, what could go wrong?