Rome, July 1 - The parents of former cycling champion Marco Pantani, who was found dead in a hotel room in Rimini in 2004 at the age of 34, have warned the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) and Italian Cycling Union (UCI) against any attempt to strip their son's Tour de France title. Pantani won the Tour de France in 1998 the same year he also won the Giro d'Italia. Pantani's name is reportedly among those of 44 cyclists to feature in a probe in France for suspected use of the performance-enhancing drug EPO. There have been reports that Pantani would be stripped of his title if this is confirmed. "We warn UCI President Pat McQuaid and FCI President Marco Di Rocca against any action that would strip Marco of his titles...which would be legally unsustainable and damage the image of our son," Tonina and Paolo Pantani wrote.
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di Giovanni Pastore