TIRALONGO WILL TESTIFY AT CAS

    • Filled in News in English 23 Ноябрь 2011 в 12:12, author: Аlik
    • Views: 9 771.

    Contador faces opponents at CAS with attorneys Mike Morgan (center) and Adam Lewis (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

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    La Gazzetta dello Sport (print edition) | November 17 | He had no doubt, and when Alberto called him, Paolo didn't think twice about it. He decided immediately: "Sure, I'll come to Lausanne to be a witness."
    Alberto is Contador, the number one. Paolo is Tiralongo: This year he won his first career victory - the Macugnaga stage at the Giro - with the King's blessing. And in 2010, he was Contador's teammate at Astana, and his gregario in that victorious and, thanks to the clenbuterol case, controversial Tour.

    "I was always around him, and not only during the race." So it was not by chance that this 34-year-old Sicilian was present at what would prove to be a key moment of that Tour: the dinner at the Hotel Lescar in Pau. Precisely the one with "clenbuterol in the meat."

    And so Tiralongo will be the only Italian among Contador's witnesses at the CAS hearing (November 21-24, with a decision expected within 6-8 weeks). Barring changes to the schedule, he'll arrive in Switzerland on the evening of the 22nd, and will testify in Contador's favor the next day.

    Tiralongo, do you still remember the evening that later became famous?
    Yes, of course. Those were the decisive days of a hard-fought Tour (in Paris, Alberto was only ahead of Andy by 39 seconds). Alberto and I were in close contact; in reality, we did practically all the same things.

    Why didn't all the members of the team eat that meat?
    Alberto and I and the other Spaniards got done later and went to dinner afterwards. The Kazakh team, with Vinokourov, had dinner before, but they complained about the quality of the food. So we ate meat that had been given to Alberto by a friend, cooked by our chef Paco. It was good and very tender. There's no problem going to Switzerland and telling what happened.

    What do you think of his story?
    I'm sure of Alberto's innocence.

    What is the basis of your conviction?
    During the first training camp, he had made it clear what he thought about doping. "Guys," he had said, "you can't joke around, because there are about sixty people working for the team, and their jobs also depend on how we behave." So every kind of action that wasn't in accordance with this seems impossible to me.

    How many times have you heard from him lately? How was his mood?
    We spoke three times and arranged to meet in Switzerland. He sounded serene to me. He said that he wasn't shaken, that he wasn't afraid, because "they can't accuse me of something I didn't do."

    Translation by M. Sarti

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