Italian jailed for part in Pantani death

Four and a half years for selling cocaine to Tour winner

Italian former disco manager Fabio Carlino has been jailed for four and a half years after being found guilty of dealing drugs and contributing to the death of 1998 Tour de France winner Marco Pantani, the Pantani family's lawyer has announced. 

Marco Pantani was found dead in an Italian hotel room on February 14, 2004 having overdosed on cocaine. In addition to Carlino's jail sentence, the Pantani family will receive 300,000 Euros in damages.

Despite the closure that comes with the court's decision to jail Carlino, Pantani's mother Tonina is still searching for answers about her son's death. "There's still a lot of mystery surrounding Marco's death," she told  La Gazzetta dello Sport. "First of all what happened between February 9, when my son bought the cocaine, and February 14, [when] he died of a lung and brain oedema. In those five days other people and other substances were probably involved.

"Why did they take out his heart during the autopsy, why didn't they take fingerprints and what about the marks on his body?" she said.

The court's decision comes a day after news that the prosecutor of Forlì (Emilia-Romagna) would open a new investigation into the death of Pantani based up on the supposed betting that occurred in the final stages of the 1999 Giro d'Italia.

"That is the end of the matter for now," family lawyer Danilo Mastrocinque told Reuters after the verdict was handed down. "We will see about the future."

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