Mario Cipollini given three year prison sentence for domestic abuse

Former cyclist called an “extremely violent and extremely abusive man” by prosecutor

Mario Cipollini
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mario Cipollini has been sentenced to three years in an Italian prison for abusing his ex-wife Sabrina Landucci and her new partner, Silvio Giusti, by the Court of Lucca on Monday.

The sentencing brought to a close the case which began in March 2019 when the initial allegations of abuse against his ex-wife were made.

After the verdict of the Court of Lucca was read out on Monday, according to Corriere della Sera (opens in new tab), Landucci said: “I’m happy, justice has been done, they were difficult moments but now I can see some light,” as she learned of her former husband's sentence. 

As well as serving time in prison, Cipollini was ordered to pay €80,000 in damages to Landucci and a further €5,000 in compensation to Giusti. 

The sentence goes beyond the initial sentence requested by the public prosecutor of Lucca, Letizia Cai, of two and a half years. 

According to the prosecutor, Cipollini had once threatened Landucci with a gun because she had decided to wear a skirt that he believed was too short. Cipollini was also described as being an “extremely violent, extremely threatening and extremely abusive man,” during the hearing. 

Throughout the long case, the former cyclist repeatedly denied the charges of domestic abuse.

In court it was revealed that Cipollini had “performed a series of acts damaging the physical and mental integrity” of Landucci, involving “punches, slaps, kicks, injuries and even death threats”.

Sabrina Landucci was married to Cipollini between 1993-2005 before it ended in divorce. On one occasion according to La Gazzetta di Lucca (opens in new tab), Landucci was assaulted by the ex-cyclist as the “former world champion grabbed his wife by the neck and threw her against the wall".

Cipollini also assaulted Landucci at her work place in January 2017. “In front of colleagues and clients, he grabbed my neck and then banged my head against the wall. I had injuries and had to go to the emergency room,” Landucci previously told the court. 

According to a VeloNews report (opens in new tab) it is not currently clear if the sentence will mean the ex-cyclist will face hard time in prison. 

In February 2020, Cipollini was in court accused of hitting his sister due to a disagreement over the custody of his pet chihuahua. The charges were later dropped. 

Cipollini enjoyed a glittering cycling career in which he won 12 individual stages at the Tour de France, 42 at the Giro d'Italia and a world championship title. 

After his retirement he founded the Cipollini bike brand. His flamboyant and often controversial personality also led to him regularly provoking the UCI as well as race organisers.

The Italian was also previously named in the Operation Puerto doping scandal, although he was never sanctioned. 

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