Mafia were behind Marco Pantani's exclusion from 1999 Giro, say Italian police

Police in Forli claim the Camorra mafia corrupted UCI doctors in order to change Marco Pantani's haematocrit levels and get him ejected from the Giro d'Italia

Marco Pantani at the 1999 Giro d'Italia (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Italian police believe the Naples mafia was behind Marco Pantani's exclusion from the 1999 Giro d'Italia as part of a betting scam.

Police in Forli say that Pantani's blood haematocrit was changed in order to disqualify him from the race to avoid the Mafia having to pay out on illegal bets on his victory.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.