Frigo among six found guilty

Already under investigation for suspected doping offences in France this summer, Dario Frigo is foun

Already under investigation for suspected doping offences in France this summer, Dario Frigo is foun



Dario Frigo, who quit this year’s Tour de France after what were alleged to be doping products were found in a car driven by his wife, is one of three riders who have been found guilty of doping offences stemming from raids on the 2001 Giro d’Italia by the Italian police. The San Remo case ended with six of the 12 accused being handed suspended prison sentences, while six more of those charged were cleared because it was ruled that the offences they had been charged with did not exist at the time of the raids.

Frigo, one of the main contenders for the 2001 Giro title before the raids by the Italian anti-doping police took place, was handed a six-month suspended sentence and a 12,000-euro fine by presiding judge Paolo Luppi after testosterone and human growth hormone were found in his room. Compatriots Giuseppe Di Grande and Alberto Elli received the same sentence, the former for possession of insulin and growth hormone, the latter for possession of the same plus corticoids.

Marco Pantani’s former soigneur, Primo Pregnolato, received the longest sentence of eight months after being found with insulin and Lidocaine. He has also been blacklisted from taking up any position in sport and from attending races. Shorter sentences were given to two other riders, Domenico Romano and Ermanno Brignoli, who cooperated with the inquiry.

Five other riders – Pavel Padrnos, Giampaolo Mondini, Daniele De Paoli, Stefano Zanini and Giuliano Figueras – plus former Kelme soigneur Francisco Javier Fernandez were acquitted after it was ruled that the offences they were charged with were not criminal in 2001.

Frigo is still facing charges stemming from his wife’s detention by French authorities at Albertville in July this year.

A separate doping-related case in Antwerp has ended with former Belgian national selector Jos de Cauwer being cleared of trafficking and possession of amphetamines. De Cauwer was cleared because of lack of proof of any offence being committed. De Cauwer’s case stemmed from incidents that had allegedly taken place in 1995 and 1996.

The principal accused in the case, Marc Claus, was given an eight-month prison sentence for having supplied 236 doses of various doping products and for having set up an amphetamine trafficking network.


Meanwhile, in neighbouring Holland, sprinter Stefan van Dijck has been banned for two years, with one of them suspended, after fleeing his home when he realised that a random drug-testing unit was waiting for him when he returned from a training ride.