A final verdict on the “pay-to-race” scandal that has shook Italian cycling may never be reached, after an appeal hearing was suspended due to broken heating in the Italian Cycling Federation offices.
The Italian Olympic Committee was lodging an appeal against a decision to clear three team managers of accusations that they made riders pay to take place in races.
However, Gazetta dello Sport reported that the hearing was suspended after four hours due to a broken heating system, with lawyers and officials wearing hats and gloves in an attempt to stay warm.
The appeal hearing has now been put back to February, but with presidential elections at the Italian Cycling Federation taking place next week and changes in the organisation’s legal department also in the offing, a final verdict may never be reached.
The controversy has threatened the reputations of many leading figures in Italian cycling over the past sixth months, with three managers of Professional Continental teams, Gianni Savio (Androni Giocattoli), Angelo Citracca (Wilier-Southeast) and Bruno Reverberi (Bardiani-CSF), being alleged of having made riders pay to race, and of signing riders based on the financial contributions that they could make to the team rather than their sporting ability.
The trio were cleared of wrongdoing in November, but were facing an appeal against that verdict from the Italian Olympic Committee.