Frigo 'completely depressed'
Dario Frigo’s lawyer tells Le Monde the Italian rider felt pressurised to consider doping by his tea
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Dario Frigo’s lawyer, Marc Dereymez, has spoken to Le Monde today about the case that the Fassa Bortolo rider will have to answer following his and his wife’s arrest earlier this week on suspicion of “aiding and assisting in the use and importation of doping products and contraband”.
Dereymez confirmed that the medical products found in Susanna Frigo’s car last Monday when it was searched on the autoroute near Albertville are in the process of being analysed, but admitted that “they can be considered as doping products”. Dereymez said it was not yet certain that the products were EPO, but revealed that “the products were made two years ago and you have to wonder whether they were still effective.” In short, he said, they were doping products but may not now work, and this needed to be verified.
He confirmed that the products were for Frigo’s use alone, but that he had not used them or tested positive. “He was totally dependent on gaining results. During this Tour he realised that he might need these products,” said Demeyrez, adding that telephone taps that had been done on Frigo would back up the defence that the Italian rider was not planning to use the products. According to his lawyer, Frigo did not even know that his wife was going to bring the products to France.
Demeyrez described Frigo as being “completely depressed” following this week’s events. “Professionally, he is dead. Cycling was his whole life. He will now be out on the street. Dario Frigo has been receiving treatment from a psychiatrist for some time. Burdened with terrible pressure by his team, he hadn’t had any results for a year. They undermined him, like they do all riders. When you are submitted to this kind of constant pressure it is difficult to resist [doping].”
The French lawyer said he had been particularly surprised by the condemnation Frigo had received from his team, notably team boss Giancarlo Ferretti. “It’s scandalous to drop someone in this way, to throw someone to the lions like this. It’s the rule of hypocrisy. When demands are made on rider for results, you can’t try to ignore what happens in the cycling milieu. It’s because his team were demanding results from him that he considered using products – to remedy the situation.”
Demeyrez also admitted he thought that the French customs may have received a tip-off about Susanna Frigo’s apparenty illicit cargo, although they have denied receiving such details.