Three Italian team managers found not guilty of 'pay to race' claims

Gianni Savio, Angelo Citracca and Bruno Reverberi have been cleared of the pay-to-race claims, alleged by seven riders including Elia Viviani

(Image credit: Watson)

The three Italian team managers who were accused of demanding that professional cyclists pay to race have been cleared and averted bans of up to two years from the sport.

Gianni Savio, Angelo Citracca and Bruno Reverberi, team managers of Androni, Wilier-Southeast and Bardiani, were accused by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in September of making riders pay to partake in races.

They were also alleged to have signed personnel based on finances that they could bring to the team, rather than their sporting abilities.

Elia Viviani, the Olympic omnium gold medal winner at this year's Games in Rio, weighed into the accusations claiming that Bardiani asked for money from Marco Coledan, who now races for Trek-Segafredo.

After an investigation, however, the Tribunale della Federciclismo Italia – the disciplinary tribunal of the Italian Cycling Federation - cleared all three managers.

The Italian Olympic Committee wasn't satisfied, though, requesting that they be banned for between one and two years. Coledan was cleared of any wrongdoing, too.

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Viviani was just one of seven riders who alleged such claims to investigators, with the Team Sky sprinter saying that riders were also forced to pay to leave a team.

He said: "Coledan was surprised to learn that to break free from Bardiani he would have to pay a penalty.

"Because he said he received minimum wage, and no one had said that to free himself he’d have to pay a sum of money."

The trio of bosses all denied the claims, saying that although riders sometimes helped with getting sponsors on board, they worked within UCI regulations.

The Italian Olympic Committee can appeal the decision.

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