Cecchini, Boonen on Fuentes scandal

After ten years of stony silence, Italian coach Luigi Cecchini has finally gone public to distance h

After ten years of stony silence, Italian coach Luigi Cecchini has finally gone public to distance h
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Luigi Cecchini has broken his silence on rumours linking him with under-suspicion Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, telling Il Giornale newspaper that he is "sick of my name cropping up every time anyone talks about doping". Cecchini added that he has "never collaborated with Fuentes". The Italian explained that he first met Fuentes while working as a doctor in the Ariostea team in the early 1990s, but said that he had no professional contact with the Spaniard. Cecchini is best-known as the coach of an all-star portfolio of riders including Damiano Cunego, Jan Ullrich, Juan Antonio Flecha and Alessandro Petacchi. Fuentes was arrested in Madrid on Tuesday on suspicion of helping to organize a blood-doping cabal serving up to 200 elite athletes. Cecchini continued: "I'm mortified and outraged at what people are accusing me of. This is a public execution that I can't accept. Only yesterday I read on a Belgium website that I'd been arrested. We've reached the stage where everyone can say what they want, without checking any facts. "The last time I saw him was a few years ago. Then I spoke to him on the telephone about a personal problem. He called me to ask for my opinion on an eye treatment centre in Siena. His daughter had a malignant tumour of the retina and he wanted information. I gave them to him, and I haven't spoken to him since." Cecchini went on to shed light on his connections with Jan Ullrich, who has also denied links with Fuentes. Cecchini claimed "I am not Jan's trainer, but a friend who sometimes helps him with training." This appeared to contradict what Ullrich's mentor and T-Mobile directeur sportif said about Cecchini on Thursday evening. Pevenage stressed "Look, Jan's relationship with Luigi Cecchini is that of a rider who works with an excellent trainer[...] As for Fuentes, we can only say that we've never had any contact with this man. I can't work out how sections of the media can spread certain rumours and link Jan to this Spanish scandal." On Friday afternoon, world champion Tom Boonen called 'Fuentes-gate' a "big disaster for cycling." This will be worse than the 1998 Festina case," Boonen added. "I don't know how this will develop but it's already a huge bomb."
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