Feud repercussions for Lance?

An Italian magistrate is looking into incidents during Friday's stage to assess whether action might

An Italian magistrate is looking into incidents during Friday's stage to assess whether action might
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE In a sensational postscript to his history-making sixth Tour de France triumph, procycling has learned Lance Armstrong may soon be summoned by the Italian police to answer questions about his dispute with Filippo Simeoni. Armstrong may have thought that he had the last laugh in his feud with Simeoni as he lapped up the lyrics of the 'Star-Spangled Banner' tonight, but it seems that the Italian anti-drugs police (NAS) have been far from amused by his antics over the past three days. According to a Domina Vacanze team source, Simeoni learned on Sunday that magistrates presiding over the trial of Armstrong's performance consultant, Michele Ferrari, may wish to question the American about his mid-race altercation with Simeoni on Friday's 18th stage. Legal officials in Florence are keen to investigate whether Armstrong may have been attempting to intimidate a witness. Widespread reports in Italy confirm that Armstrong may be questioned. Simeoni famously testified in the Ferrari trial in February 2002, telling judge Giovanni Spinosa that Ferrari had advised him to take EPO. Armstrong responded to this in 2003 by branding Simeoni an "absolute liar". That accusation has become the subject of a separate case brought against Armstrong by Simeoni. The jury in the Ferrari trial is expected to finally give its verdict this autumn. On today's final stage of the Tour between Montereau and Paris, hostilities between the pair were renewed when Simeoni attacked three times - once right from the starting gun - before the peloton even reached the Champs Elyses. This constituted a clear - and no doubt deliberate - infringement of the unwritten rule that the approach to Paris is a form of rolling champagne reception for the incoming champion, on this occasion Armstrong. Each of Simeoni's of attacks was the cue for Armstrong's US Postal team to rally into pursuit mode on the front of the bunch. In Viatcheslav Ekimov's case, Simeoni's capture was the cue for an obscene hand gesture and a missile of saliva to be launched in the direction of the Domina Vacanze man's front wheel. "They still insist on behaving in this way. It makes me very bitter but I have to live with the situation," Simeoni said this evening. A Domina Vacanze spokesperson told procycling tonight that the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) have so far not followed the Italian Cycling Federation in publicly declaring their support for Simeoni.
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