Mario Cipollini is due to appear in court over allegations he physically and verbally abused his ex-wife, according to Italian media.
The retired sprinter is accused of “mistreating and stalking” his former partner Sabrina Landucci, sister of footballer Marco Landucci.
Cipollini is alleged to have “performed a series of acts damaging the physical and mental integrity” of Ms Landucci with “punches, slaps, kicks, with injuries and death threats,” according to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera. (opens in new tab)
The prosecutor of Lucca, Sara Polino, has called for Cipollini to be tried, with a preliminary court hearing due to take place on March 20.
Cipollini, 51, is also accused of making threats against Ms Landucci’s partner, retired footballer Silvio Giusti.
He has yet to respond to the allegations.
The allegations are dated between December 2016 and January 6, 2017.
The penalty for Cipollini, if the allegations prove true, ranges from six months to four years in prison.
On the most serious alleged incident, Ms Landucci said: “I was working like every day in the sports centre when Mario assaulted me in front of colleagues and clients.
“He grabbed my neck and then banged my head against the wall
“I had injuries, I had to go to the emergency room.”
Cipollini is also accused of threatening his ex-wife several times, including saying “I’ll kill you, you’ll hear the sound of the bones when they break.”
Landucci and Cipollini married in 1993, but the pair separated in 2005.
Cipollini announced his retirement that year, after 17 racing seasons.
During his long career, he won 42 stages of the Giro d’Italia, 12 of the Tour de France, and won the World Championships in 2002.
After retirement, he started his own bike brand.
Cipollini hit the headlines in 2016 after he was criticised for riding one of his own brand bikes while not wearing a helmet.
He responded by posting a picture of himself riding on a turbo trainer naked, while wearing a helmet.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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