Marco Pantani found dead in hotel room (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Dec 13, 2002
RIMINI, Italy (AP) -- Former Tour de France and Giro d'Italia winner Marco Pantani was found dead in a Rimini residence Saturday, Italian news reports said. He was 34.

Italy's most popular cyclist was found in a room at the residence "Le Rose" in this seaside city, the ANSA news agency reported.

No explanation of death was provided, although police were on the scene.

There was no answer at Pantani's manager or team late Saturday.

In 1998, Pantani became the last cyclist to win both the Tour de France and the Giro in the same season. Since then, he has been plagued by doping accusations and suspensions.

Last summer, he spent several weeks in a health clinic specializing in treatment for depression and drug addiction.

In 1999, he failed a random blood test and was kicked out of the Giro he was dominating.

A syringe containing traces of insulin was found in his hotel room in a police raid during the 2001 Giro. Pantani contended the syringe had been planted and that he didn't stay in the room on the night in question. The judges dismissed the claim for lack of proof, and he was suspended for six months.

In one of his best performances since his sparkling 1998 season, Pantani finished 14th in last year's Giro.


Holy crap, this is so sad :down: RIP

Buy on


Senior Member
Dec 13, 2002
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter #2
    Looks like a suicide. He was found on a bed next to some medicine and a note...

    Hotel employees say that he was acting strange...


    StrikerMania Champ 2004
    Jan 11, 2003
    Really sad... He was my favorite in Tour De France...

    I remember the glorious battle he had with Ulrich.



    Inferiority complex
    Nov 16, 2003
    Caputured everyone's heart in 1998 with his Giro D'Italia and Tour de France victories...(last cyclist to do so)

    Povero Marco never got over being pulled from the Giro and fell deeper into depression.


    Senior Member
    Dec 13, 2002
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter #11
    truly a sad story... so is there anything new? Was it a suicide? I heard reports saying that he had problems with the heart, and that the note was just some thoughts and not an actual suicide note.
    Aug 1, 2003
    here are a few articles I got from eurosport..

    1) the tributes.

    "This is a tragedy of enormous proportions for the entire cycling world." 2002 world champion Mario Cipollini.

    "It's so big, it seems unbelievable." Italian national team coach Franco Ballerini.

    "[He was] the last great climber of the Tour de France, the Giro, and of the entire cycling world." Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc.

    "He paid a very high price. For four years, he was at the center of a storm." Pantani's former trainer Felice Gimondi.

    17/02/2004 - JoeyB from USA

    Addio, Il PirataYou have ridden your final climb, my friend, and may you find peace at the summit! You are missed dearly!

    17/02/2004 - Purka

    You were the greatest climber of all time. You are always gonna be the king of the mountains. RIP


    Further to my mails of the previous day, I would urgeall cycling fans, who are appalled at the behaviour of the UCI's treatment of Marco Pantani, to register theirdisgust at this organisations morally corrupt, double dealing and putride actions.You can do so by mailing the commander in cheating at UCI, Mr.Hein Verbruggen at [email protected]'s up to us the cycling fans, to show this clown, how we really feel.I would urge everyone who has posted a tribute message to Marco to mail this address forthwith.

    17/02/2004 - AL - uk

    How many more of Cycling stars have to die in 'unexplained' circumstances before the UCI and other major cycling orgasnisations admit that there are problems.....come on, admit there are problems, make a real effort to sort them out, lets get this house in order - and clean up this amazing sport. I watched the '98 TdF highlights last night and saw Marco in action, an amazing cyclist, and one who will be sorely missed.RIP Marco.

    17/02/2004 - JH - uk

    What a complete tradegy. Whatever the official reasons/causes for his death aren't we all (UCI, press, supporters, sponsors, doctors, mangers etc) responsible in some way. This should be the HUGE wake-up call cycling needs sort out this beautiful sport before its to late, starting with the 'powers that be' taking off their 'rose tinted specticles' & admitting there are problems from the very top to the very bottom, & in all sections of cycling - not persecute the one who was afraid to tell. All Marco wanted to do was ride his bike & entertain, he wore his heart on his sleeve that's what made him so amazing but probably was his downfall - when the going got tough he couldn't cope. I sit here with tears in my eyes at the thought of someone so loved died so alone in a hotel room. Farewell Marco, God rest your tortured soul, may you cycle freely now 'til your hearts content. Ciao Marco and thanks for the memories. You are a legend that will live forever.

    17/02/2004 - Piero, Switzerland

    ciao Marco, sono quello che ti chiamava il guerriero della luce. Tutti noi abbiamo perso, non siamo stati capaci di colmare l'ingiustizia che hai patito. Da parte mia non sono riuscito convincere alcune persone a farti disputare lo scorso tour. Scusami, perdonaci tutti se puoi, anche quelli che non hanno realmente capito cosa sia accaduto. Abbiamo perso il più grande degli scalatori che sia mai vissuto, ma non siamo stati capaci di rispettarlo, forse per noi stupidi umani eri qualcosa di troppo elevato. Ciao guerriero della luce., Piero

    17/02/2004 - drewuk

    A truly sad and tragic day for the cycling world. Rest in peace Marco, we will never forget you...

    17/02/2004 - pino holland

    grande pantani PER SEMPRE

    17/02/2004 - now2day

    descanse en paz

    17/02/2004 - mehdi

    marco dooset darim

    there are others, but I didn't paste it.
    Aug 1, 2003
    2) Pirate's legacy

    Marco Pantani was one of the most admired riders in the history of cycling because of his spectacular and aggressive style of racing in the high mountains of the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France. Yet both his career and personal life were marked by problems of depression and accusations of doping.

    Pantani was born on January 13, 1970 in Cesena near the Italian Adriatic coast, close to the holiday resort of Rimini.

    He won the amateur version of the Giro d'Italia in 1992 and turned professional in 1992 with the Italian Carrera team.

    He won his first race -- a mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia -- in 1994, showing his natural ability in the high mountains, and in 1995 won two stages in the Tour de France and was third in the world road race championships in Colombia.

    A broken leg at the end of 1995 forced him to miss most of the 1996 season but he made a successful comeback winning two more mountain stages in the Tour de France.

    In 1998 he won 16 races, including both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.

    The 1998 Tour was affected by a doping scandal involving the Festina team but Pantani saved the race with captivating rides in the Alps.

    He took the race leader's yellow jersey from Jan Ullrich of Germany on a dramatic rain-soaked stage to Les Deux Alpes and kept it all the way to the finish in Paris.


    He was the first Italian to win the Tour de France since Felice Gimondi in 1965.

    The Giro and Tour double made him a household name in Italy but in 1999 he was accused of doping when he failed a blood haematocrit test just two days before the end of the Giro d'Italia, while leading the race.

    He was disqualified and left the race in shame.

    Pantani was put on trial in Trento and Bologna for doping but both trials ended when judges decided no suitable law was in place at the time when he was accused of having used the blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO).

    After months of silence, Pantani made a comeback in 2000, winning a stage of the Tour de France to the summit of Mont Ventoux ahead of American Lance Armstrong but it would be the last win of his career.

    He continued racing sporadically until June 2003 and finished 14th in the Giro d'Italia.

    He had a chance of riding in the Tour de France but severe depression caused him to spend the second half of June in a drugs and depression clinic near Venice.

    He was recently reported to be living with friends in the village of Predappio, where former fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was born, but rarely rode his bike and was said to be overweight.

    Pantani was not registered with a professional team this year and his father had said there was little chance of him ever racing again. But the death of the man known as 'The Pirate' at such a young age has shocked the whole of Italy.
    Aug 1, 2003
    3) Italian newspaper say...

    "All alone"

    While investigators awaited the results of a Monday autopsy on Marco Pantani, an Italian newspaper published the notes found along with his body in a hotel room in the Adriatic resort of Rimini. Pantani, 34, reportedly left behind nine pages of hand-written notes where the word "plot" appears three times.

    Investigators refused to conclude that the death was a suicide until the autopsy.

    An initial coroner's report on Sunday noted that the Tour de France and two-time Giro winner succombed to "cardio-vascular arrest" for reasons unknown.

    According to Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Serra, Pantani - who was holed up in the room for five days before dying - talked repeatedly of a plot.

    Pantani had been dogged by doping charges since he was expelled from the 1999 Giro for having an unusually-high red blood cell count.

    "No one has been able to understand me, not even my family," he wrote on the hotel's stationery. "I've found myself all alone."

    According to Corriere, the last words read "They wanted to punish only me."

    Friends of the Pirate confirm that he felt persecuted by Italian authorities, who recently had a six-month sentence linked to doping overturned.

    Former rider Davide Cassani said that Pantani asked why are authorities "only punishing me for things that everyone does."

    "He felt like a scapegoat," added Cassani.

    Three anti-depressants were found in his room, but while investigating magistrate Paolo Gengarelli ruled out "any traces of narcotics," the press speculates on Pantani's alleged use of cocaine.

    Il Messagero contacted a cleric in Bolivia who told the newspaper that he'd spoken to Pantani about checking into his retreat which serves as a detox center.

    Don Pierino Gelmini told the newspaper that a February 27 date had been set for he and Pantani to fly to Bolivia together.

    "In Italy, that would have made a lot of noise and he didn't want that. So the idea came to propose to him a possibility where no one would see him, no one would judge him, far from the cameras," don Gelmini told the newspaper.

    "Physically, Marco was strong. Psychologically no," Dr. Massimo Besnati, president of the Italian Medical Association told La Stampa newspaper.

    "Such a downward spiral since 1999 suggests a great emotional fragility and a terrible need for help."

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