Did the former cycling star Marco Pantani (✝︎34) die from an outside influence?
In February 2004, the Italian died of a cocaine overdose, according to the autopsy. However, new reports suggest that he might have been killed after all.
The public prosecutor in Rimini opened a relevant file, Fiorenzo Alessi, lawyer for the bereaved, told the Ansa news agency on Monday.
Two public prosecutor’s investigations had previously come to the conclusion that the 1998 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winners had not died as a result of outside interference. Pantani was found dead in a hotel room in Rimini on February 14, 2004. According to the autopsy, the then 34-year-old died of a cocaine overdose.
The trigger for the current developments are statements by the former drug dealer from Pantani. The dealer testified at a parliamentary hearing in 2020: “Marco was killed. I knew him five or six months before he died and he didn’t look like someone who wanted to kill himself. “
The man said that Pantani wanted to find out the truth about the incident in Madonna di Campiglio. There the cycling star was excluded from the Giro d’Italia in 1999 because of a suspicious doping result. Pantani always denied his guilt. Investigations clearly suggested doping abuse.
The former rival of Jan Ullrich (47) won the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia in 1998. His career ended abruptly and prematurely when he was found to be doping in 1999.