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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Pantani wins fraud appeal
Marco Pantani
Pantani has been dogged by allegations of doping
Italian cyclist Marco Pantani has won his appeal against a doping-related sporting fraud charge, according to reports.

The Court of Appeal in Bologna overturned his conviction on Tuesday, ruling "the deed was not enshrined in law as an offence".

Pantani had been sentenced to a suspended three-month prison term after indications he had taken the banned substance EPO during the 1995 Milan-Turin classic.

The 1998 Giro d'Italia and Tour de France champion was admitted to hospital after crashing during the race.

Medical tests revealed the rider had a haematocrit level of 60.1% in his blood, way above the 50% threshold that is considered as an indicator of drug-taking.

Pantani, dubbed 'il Pirata' (The Pirate) for his wearing bandanas and earrings, has also been implicated in other doping-related affairs.

He was disqualified while leading from the 1999 Giro d'Italia before the start of the penultimate stage at Madonna di Campiglio.

A similar haematocrit level, above the acceptable limit, had been recorded.

See also:

29 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Pantani cuts season short
19 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Pantani in Spanish withdrawal
30 Jul 01 |  Other Sports
'Pirate' poised for return
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