Aussies rage over Italian 'slur' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies rage over Italian 'slur'

06/08/2003 05:40:20 AM Comments (0)

Australia's head cycling coach has demanded an apology from the head of the Italian cycling federation after casting doubts over his team's record breaking performances at the world track championships in Stuttgart.

Giancarlo Ceruti, president of the Italian federation, told Gazzetta Dello Sport that he could not understand the results of the Australian and British pursuit teams at the event claiming that "on the road they are normal riders and on the track they become phenomenons."

The Australians smashed their own world record while the British claimed silver.

"Mr Ceruti has directly and through cowardly innuendo questioned the integrity and sportsmanship of the entire Australian cycling programme," said Shayne Bannan, the Australian head coach.

"His comments are offensive and invalid and have been made by a man with no knowledge of the way in which we conduct ourselves.

"I am insulted and disappointed that a person in such a position as his would make such unwarranted and unsubstantiated comments and, on behalf of my staff and riders, I demand an apology.

"He obviously has no idea how a successful track programme is run and should confine his comments to things he knows something about.

"The success of our cycling programme didn't happen overnight and is in fact the result of many years of hard work."

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