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ciranda

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Dario Frigo: how to stay inside
« on: November 12, 2018, 18:08 »


I found a folder with old articles and maps I had kept from newspapers from when I started to like cycling as a child. Before one of the last stages in the 2001 Giro government agencies raided hotels in Sanremo where teams stayed. It was one of the biggest raids when the authorities were most active. Caribinieri discovered illicit substances in the cyclist Dario Frigo's suitcase and Fassa Bortolo took him out of the race and terminated his contract. This is from when he first talked to news media two weeks after. It's interesting to break down what he said and see how these statements helped create a picture of him as someone to be trusted and rewarded.

Frigo started by saying he did not want to be seen as a pentito, someone who talked about others and told secrets in exchange for less severe verdict for themselves. He had only worked with authorities about what concerned his own case and had not mentioned other riders or other people. He had been upset by some things that had been written and demanded corrections by them or he would not stay for questions.

~ I ADMIT TO MY OWN MISTAKES ONLY AND AM NOT A SNITCH


Then he apologized for what happened. He understood it was wrong. It was a mistake caused by feelings of insecurity. It had been his fault. He was weak because the the objective Giro had been at stake. He said he was sorry to his colleagues, to the team and to fans who believed in him and cycling. He thought many still did.

~ I DON'T KNOW ABOUT ILLEGAL STUFF BUT WAS TEMPTED THIS ONE TIME


Frigo had been interrogated by the court of Coni and by the Nas in Firenze. The exact substances found were not mentioned because it was covered by the segreto istruttorio, some privacy rights in court cases. About his case Frigo said he had told the ds Ferretti about the situation and he approved of the decision taken by Fassa Bortolo. Internal rules were clear and since he had not respected those it was right of them to take action.

~ I ACCEPT AND APPLAUD WHAT THE TEAM DECIDE AND EXPECT THEY WILL REMEMBER


Someone asked what the procura had meant when they said Frigo had worked with antidoping. That had to do only with his own story. He had told everything fino in fondo, to the last letter, to be at peace with himself. He had not collaborated for a reduced sentence but because he thought it had been a duty to himself and to supporters.

~ PERSONAL MORAL STANDARD + NO ONE WANTS TO BE EXCLUDED


Someone then asked if Frigo considered himself a professional user or as a human that had been tempted. He said he had been tested in Paris Nice, Romandie and for ten days in Giro d'Italia and the rest day and had never had issues. That was the real Dario Frigo he said. He had heard someone say the rosa jersey had been dirtied and had felt bad because he had not used substances and the victories had been cause of sacrifices and much hard work. He had admitted to weakness and had made a huge mistake.

It had been a season full of stress and it had weighed on him. He had felt weak and had looked for something that would have made him feel strong, maybe psychologically more than physically. He pointed out that substances were found in his suitcase and not in his bloodstream. They had been there but he had not made use of them. His intention had been to take them to Milano and throw them out; to have them in the suitcase had made him feel safer because if difficult times came he would have had them nearby.

When he was asked if the substances would have caused a positive he answered that he did not know and that had been one of the reasons he had not taken any. He said he had not received threats despite the reports he had collaborated and that he did not feel like a sacrificial lamb. I pay for what I have done, not for everyone. I am not a victim, he said.

~ THIS NARRATIVE BREAKS DOWN WHAT HAD HAPPENED WITH MORE DETAILS

 
Asked about his future Frigo said he had not yet started riding again. It had been hard for him to fall asleep and accept everything. When he had felt down he had thought about giving up everything but cycling remained his life and he wanted to return as soon as possible. And he wanted to be stronger than before, to show that what he had achieved had been possible only by the sacrifices. He wanted to finish with dignity he said.

~ THE STORY ENDS WITH REAL PRIDE AND RESPONSIBILITY


I don't remember I was disappointed or surprised even though Frigo was one of my favorite cyclists. Maybe I was more annoyed that he would not be around in races for some time. That was how it usually was with positives and other cases. Anyway he was back by fall that year with Vini Caldirola and won the GP Zurich and in 2003 back with Fassa Bortolo. Frigo was fired for the second time by the team after another case in the 2005 TDF and never raced again. I searched for info some time ago and found nothing except someone in a discussion forum that said he has lived in another country for years.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Dario Frigo: how to stay inside
    « Reply #1 on: November 16, 2018, 12:14 »
    I don't remember I was disappointed or surprised even though Frigo was one of my favorite cyclists. Maybe I was more annoyed that he would not be around in races for some time. That was how it usually was with positives and other cases. Anyway he was back by fall that year with Vini Caldirola and won the GP Zurich and in 2003 back with Fassa Bortolo. Frigo was fired for the second time by the team after another case in the 2005 TDF and never raced again. I searched for info some time ago and found nothing except someone in a discussion forum that said he has lived in another country for years.

    Thanks for posting this. I personally found it fascinating. :)

    An appreciation of the deeper moral issues tends to come with age, no? :) I remember that I had zero interest in the circumstances of guys like Theunisse banging the testosterone, although I did wonder if that was the reason old Gert-Jan looked so scary. :D

    There is a young Frigo at U23 level right now. I don't know if he's related but that would be the right sort of age...
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    ciranda

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    Re: Dario Frigo: how to stay inside
    « Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 13:38 »
    It is that he is so honest and believable. It's a great performance because it's not a performance. My interpretation is not literal and Frigo was not signed again because of what he said to media of course. But it was a part of a list of things to do when you had a problem with authorities. I think what he did mirrors how people had always reacted and has continued to react. Like with Samuel Sanchez his reaction was honest and maybe kind of incredulous and it was like, how can they change the rules now. Then the rules are changed back again, then they mean nothing for others.

    Being caught is so much harder for people that cared more. I can't forget the interview with Leonardo Piepoli where he was so sad and just destroyed that because he had been sentenced and suspended he couldn't work with young cyclists after he finished like he had always wanted to. And it was even harder and sad because he actually did not get into heavier stuff before age 37 or something with Saunier Duval.

    This interview with Frigo's father after his second problem in 2005.
     
    http://archiviostorico.gazzetta.it/2005/luglio/16/Sono_padre_distrutto__ga_10_0507163799.shtml?refresh_ce-cp

    He talks about how destroyed they are after what happened and it seems at the time they didn't know where Dario was. Tell me where I have failed, he says. He is old enough to have grown up listening to Giro transmissions with Fausto Coppi. Medicine, a way of life not limited to cheating in sport. No, it crushes life, pulverizes affection, it says in the article. I, my wife and my daughter don't have the courage to leave the house anymore, the father says, and: why did they take him back after 2001? Were they grateful because he covered for a bigger name? He also talks about how cruel u23 Zalf DS Locatelli was. 


    Brian Nygaard interviewed Philippe Brunel for a danish paper. Except for the first quote and the last sentence it is not really related to doping issues but I found it interesting.

    Brunel said

    A sense of morality has never existed in the sport of cycling so to ask of it to be a role model in society is totally absurd. I suggest, with the knowledge I have always had about cyclists and the system, that antidoping has always been at least as flawed and corrupted throughout history. If you say that an ethical balance with relation to financing, medicine and politics has been in place in this sport, then you are categorically wrong. There has always been a corrupt element also from race organisers. If you said something negative about Tour de France when Felix Levitan was director, 1962 to 1986, you could expect to test postive for something and be thrown out.

    If it is fictious and amoral can it affect you in a positive way.

    Very much so. Sport can work with and help deal with tough problems. For instance growing old. It can be tough and mean to grow old. The crises of a great cyclist who is no longer strong is hard to process for the cyclist and for us the spectators. The rights earned to be weak and to decide your own ending is a privilege with many inherent problems that cycling shows better than anything else. It is a fact of life we have a hard time with. I love the breakdowns, the sudden ones and the stretched out ones, like when you see a great cyclist who just cannot go on. It is a humiliation for a great champion to get dropped. For all of us in fact. But sport teaches us to see it happen.

    So cycling has never disappointed you.

    I think I have a psychological flaw that makes me see things from a distance. Even close things like family and friends but it is an advantage when it comes to work. If you are very serious about everything all the time you will be disappointed.
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