Cyclist Pantani's parents warn against loss of Tour de France title

July 1, 2013 at 3:24 PM

ROME, July 1 (UPI) -- The parents of cyclist Marco Pantani, who won the 1998 Tour de France and died in 2004, warned cycling officials not to attempt to strip him of his victory.

Pantani's name is among those of 44 cyclists in a French probe of use of the performance-enhancing drug EPO, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.

"We warn UCI (Italian Cycling Union) President Pat McQuaid and FCI (Italian Cycling Federation) 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.

The cyclist was 34 when he was found dead in a Rimini, Italy, hotel room in 2004.

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