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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News Flash for May 17, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

NAS raid Formaggi Pinzolo hotel

Officers from the NAS (Italian narcotics squad) carried out a mini 'blitz' on the hotel where Italian team Formaggi Pinzolo-Fiave was staying late on Friday night. However, despite an extensive search of the team's medical supplies, the police did not find any illegal substances. All of the team's medical products were declared at the start of the Giro.

The raid was authorised by the investigating magistrate in Pescara, who has a mandate to search for illegal drugs in sporting activities. Earlier this year, the team was involved in an affair during Tirreno Adriatico, where rider Massimiliano Mori was accused of trying to defraud a doping control by having access to a spare flask of urine. However Mori and his team director Gabriele Di Francesco were later cleared of any wrongdoing.

The most spectacular raids performed by the NAS were during the 2001 Giro in San Remo, when police raided every team hotel and seized a large number of medical products. That investigation and subsequent trial is still going on, but so far most of the people involved have been cleared.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)