Rider who shot former head of state's cat has Trek-Segafredo contract terminated

Antonio Tiberi was previously suspended without pay, but now fired after his actions during suspension did not meet team's criteria

Antonio Tiberi
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Antonio Tiberi, the Trek-Segafredo rider who was was convicted of killing a cat with an air rifle, has had his contract terminated by the American team.

The Italian rider was previously suspended by Trek after the incident where he killed a cat belonging to the former head of state of San Marino, Pedini Amati.

On Friday, the squad released a statement saying that Tiberi's "actions during his suspension did not meet our criteria for a return to competition". 

As a result, they have "mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately". The promising 21-year-old is therefore a free agent.

The statement added: " With the rider’s contract now terminated, he is free to sign with another team. No further comments will be given at this time."

After the February incident Trek called the incident "reprehensible", it was apparently previously unaware of the incident.

The suspension was supposed to last 20 days, with the team donating the rider's pay from that period to an animal welfare charity.

Italian-born Tiberi was handed a €4,000 fine after killing the cat, and Amati, who is now the Minister of Tourism, called for Tiberi to have his residency in the tax haven rescinded.

At the time the rider said: "I deeply regret my shameful actions... I accept with [a] sense of responsibility and repentance the consquences and the blame for my action."

In February he said he would make donations based on prize money earned this season to San Marino organisations that look after stray cats, and said he would also carry out volunteer work for them.

The incident took place last summer at Tiberi's San Marino home, after the 21-year-old bought the gun and decided to "test it out", Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported.

Shooting from his apartment window, Tiberi first targeted a road sign, before spotting the cat. Tiberi admitted to shooting at the animal, which died from a head wound.

The police were called by Amati himself, who witnessed the incident.

"My intent was simply to measure the shooting capacity of the weapon, so much so that I aimed at a prohibition sign," Tiberi told the court before he was convicted. "I also admit that I just as stupidly and unconsciously tried to hit a cat, and to my surprise I actually hit it. I had no intention of killing the animal, in fact I was convinced that the weapon wasn't lethal."

Amati was clearly unhappy with the punishment, saying: "You cannot kill a pet and get away with a €4,000 fine… We do not need to give residency to these people."

Tiberi signed for Trek-Segafredo in 2021, having won the junior World Championship time trial at Harrogate in 2019. He won a stage of the Tour of Hungary in 2022. His last race for Trek was the UAE Tour, where he finished seventh overall.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.