Prosecutors open third investigation into death of Marco Pantani

In 2004 a court ruled Pantani died from a drug overdose, but this investigation will focus on homicide charges

Marco Pantani third investigation death
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A third investigation has been opened into the death of Marco Pantani, the Italian cyclist who was found dead in hotel room in Rimini on February 14 2004.

Fiorenzo Alessi, the attorney representing the Pantani family, told ANSA the third investigation will focus on homicide charges, after documents were sent to the Rimini Public Prosecutor's Office in 2019 by the anti-mafia parliamentary commission. 

Fabio Miradossa, the man who sold drugs to Pantani, also told the anti-mafia parliamentary commission in 2020 the Italian rider was killed, rather than died as a result of an overdose. Miradossa plea-bargained for a four-year, 10-month jail term in 2005 for providing Pantani with drugs, with his claims now forming part of the investigation.

Officials are now looking into "unknown persons" in the case, with reportedly 51 pages of new evidence now available to prosecutors.

According to Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale, Rimini Public Prosecutor's Office met Tonina Pantani, Marco's mother, to discuss new evidence that might present a breakthrough in her desire to prove her son didn't die of a drug overdose.

She told the newspaper: “I went over the whole story. I was, and I remain, convinced that the whole truth about Marco’s death has not yet come out, about what happened at the hotel in the hours and days before his death.

“I don't want revenge but only truth and justice. The truth has not yet emerged."

The first investigation into his death concluded Pantani died alone in a hotel room of an apparent cocaine overdose. The cause of death was decided by "the consumption, certainly voluntary, of massive doses of cocaine and antidepressant drugs."

His family has long disputed that the 1998 Tour de France winner died in those circumstances though, claiming something else caused his death at the age of 34.

A second inquiry opened in 2014 after the family insisted he might have been murdered, but the hypothesis of murder was considered "mere fanciful conjecture", and no charges were subsequently filed. 

In 2017, the Supreme Court then rejected a final appeal from Pantani's family, stating he wasn't murdered.