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February 18, 2004

Thousands pay respects to Pantani in Cesenatico

BBC Sport | Italy mourns cycling star Pantani
During the service Pantani's friend and former manager Manuela Ronchi read out a note in which the cyclist expressed his anger, frustration and sadness at the way he was treated by sporting and judicial authorities.

The note was found scribbled on nine pages of Pantani's passport.

"The world understands that all my colleagues have been humiliated in their hotel rooms with hidden TV cameras... that tried to ruin many families," the note read.

"After that how can you not hurt yourself? I don't know why I stopped myself in these moments of anger. If I made mistakes I'd like to know that there is proof but when my sporting life and above all my private life was violated I lost a lot," it said.

"For four years I was in every court. I lost my desire to be like every other sportsman. But cycling paid and many youngsters have lost faith in justice."

Also: Pantani funeral photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on February 18, 2004 in Marco Pantani | Permalink

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