Dario Frigo

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Dario Frigo
Tour de france 2005 10th stage mpk 04.jpg
Personal information
Full nameDario Frigo
Born (1973-09-18) 18 September 1973 (age 46)
Saronno, Italy
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Weight66 kg (146 lb; 10 st 6 lb)
Team information
Rider typeAll rounder
Professional team(s)
2000–2001Fassa Bortolo
2002Vini Caldirola
2003–2005Fassa Bortolo
Major wins
Tour de France, 1 stage
Giro d'Italia, 2 stages
Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme (2003)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (2003)
Züri-Metzgete (2002)
Paris–Nice (2001)
Tour de Romandie (2001, 2002)

Dario Frigo (born 18 September 1973 in Saronno, Italy) is a former professional road bicycle racer.


The transition to professional, arrives at the Giro del Veneto 1995, with the jersey of the Mercatone Uno-Saeco. Since 1996, Saeco will be his team for four years and in 1999 it obtains his first victory at the Dekra Open, in Germany. In 2000, he joined the Fassa Bortolo and achieved success in Giro di Campania, Arco di Trento stage at the Giro del Trentino and he is 2nd in Tour de Suisse . Success came in early 2001: the time trial at the Col d'Èze and the Final classification of the Paris-Nice and Tour de Romandie.

The Giro d'Italia starts and is one of the favorites for the final victory even though its strength is unknown in a three-week stage race. In the prologue he is second behind the winner Verbrugghe and thanks to this placement in the fourth stage with an uphill finish, arriving with the first, he manages to win the pink jersey. He will hold the symbol of primacy for nine days, handing it over to Gilberto Simoni at the end of the stage, arriving at Passo Pordoi, in the 13th stage. The gap in the ranking between the two is however minimal. On 3 June Frigo wins the 15th stage, the Sirmione-Salò, a time trial, but Simoni second manages to keep the shirt. [1] On 7 June an important stop is scheduled at the Imperia-Sant'Anna di Vinadio, but the stage is canceled following the searches of the NAS in the hotels of Sanremo where the teams participating in the Giro used to stay

During the searches in Frigo vials with doping substances are found which, by its admission, he owned, although he claimed to have never used them. The next morning Dario did not leave Busto Arsizio because he was fired by his team. Later it turns out that Dario had also been scammed since the label of those vials didn't match the product they were supposed to contain. But it was a detail: Frigo had tried to procure an illicit product and so he was sentenced to a 6-month ban until 8 March 2002.

In 2002 he was hired by Tacconi Sport and on his return to racing, in Paris-Nice, he won the hardest stage at the Col d'Èze. He then won a stage and the final classification of the Tour de Romandie. He returns at the start of the Giro d'Italia, but while still managing to stay with the leaders, he finishes with a modest 10th place in the standings at 11'50" from the winner Paolo Savoldelli. After the Giro he wins the Italian Championship time trial and it is presented at the start of the Tour: he wins the 17th stage in Megeve. After finishing the Tour in growing condition, in August he wins Subida a Urkiola and the World Cup Classic Zurich Metzgete, he is 5thin the UCI Ranking.

In 2003 he started strong and in the first half of the season he won 6 races: stage at Paris-Nice, a stage and the final Classification both at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and at the Setmana Catalana and a stage in the Giro that ended in 7th place and a stage win in Pontechianale. Then he concentrates on the end season, completes the Vuelta with the twenty-first place and takes part in the World Championships individual time trial and road in Hamilton, he is retiring but only after working for the team in the road race and 5thin the individual time trial. Closes the year with third place in the Giro di Lombardia and in the UCI ranking at the end of the season occupies the 14th position.

2004 is a very hard year for Frigo: three months away from racing, due to physical problems, and a slow and difficult recovery does not allow him to win any race. In spite of everything, for the second consecutive year he is selected for the World Championships in Verona.

In 2005, Dario started badly again: the results did not arrive, only 1 stage in Tour de Luxembourg and in July, during the Tour de France, he and his wife were stopped by the French police, after a ten doses of Epo were found. The ryder, excluded from the Tour de France, announces his decision to end his career.

Doping Investigation[edit]

Following the statements made by Dario Frigo, the Police Chief Jean-Philippe Casano carries out in-depth investigations and testified to the Judges as follows: "The inquiry diligently complies with your instructions allows us to verify and validate the assertions contained in Dario Frigo's letter , in particular identifying the different protagonists that he puts in question in a doping organization within his old team Fassa Bortolo, now dissolved. "(2006/7 Judicial Police Report).

Cyril Troussard (C.P.L.D) declares: "the method of doping organized within the Fassa Bortolo in 2003, described by Frigo in his letter is comparable with the Festina method" (2006/7 Judicial Police Report).

M. Alain Garnier (A.M.A.) validated Frigo's statements on the existence of an omerta in the sports world concerning doping practices within teams such as the Fassa Bortolo. (Minutes 2006/7 of the Judicial Police).

On 15 September 2008, at the Albertville Court, Dario and his wife are sentenced to 6 months suspended. The Public Prosecutor appeals. On 23 April 2009 the Chambery Appeal Court reduced the sentence of both to 3 months suspended.

The Chambery Court, in the reasons for the sentence, states: "The investigations carried out on a rogatory commission have made it possible to give credibility to the architecture of the system denounced by Dario Frigo, that is a practice of doping athletes institutionalized and organized by the Fassa Bortolo team leaderseven if the instructor magistrate complained about the absence of any collaboration with the Italian authorities. The pressures suffered by Dario Frigo to bow to new systematic doping practices institutionalized within his team are clear. The humiliations and harassment of the Fassa Bortolo executives particularly hit a runner whose physical and psychological health had been fragile for years of doping in a scandalous system far from sport ethics. "(Dossier nr. 08 / 00899 of 23/4/09 Chambery Appeal Court).

And the conditioning suffered by the ryder in a proven environment in which the use of doping is defined as institutionalized has justified "the gentler application of the criminal law" (Dossier nr. 08/00899).

During the interrogation D96 in front of the Police Chief Jean-Philippe Casano, Ferretti declares: "the (Frigo) était payé près de ... euros par a et à ce tarif qui, an employer a le droit de faire pression ...".

The Ravenna Court branch of Lugo established that the Fassa Bortolo did not close due to Dario Frigo case.

Although the judges recognized the "doping organized and institutionalized" in 2010 at the Court of Treviso, the Fassa Bortolo filed a civil lawsuit against Dario Frigo for the injured image of Fassa Spa, for compensation of the patrimonial and non-patrimonial damages suffered by Fassa Bortolo and quality of the author of the declarations reported in the newspaper il Gazzettino, where he remained for a month, with consequent pecuniary reparation.

With sentence n. 2146/15 of 5/10/2015, the Court of Treviso rejects the request for damages from Fassa Bortolo.

The judge of the Treviso Court declares: "Faced with the investigations carried out by the French authority, the Fassa Bortolo has proved nothing about the falsity of what Frigo said, given that the apparent formal rigor towards the use of illicit substances taken by the company Fassa Bortolo was then denied by the choices made by the company itself, in particular, it cannot be overlooked that it was made use of by a sports director, Giancarlo Ferretti, with not particularly clear background, having the himself proceeded to hire ryders already convicted of doping or having worked to obtain the collaboration for Fassa Bortolo and for payment "in black", by Dr. Marcos Maynar, known for his experiments and the use of prohibited substances ".

Dr. Marcos Maynar was present at the retreats of Castrocaro Terme (11/2002) and Marina di Bibbona (01/2003), at the Puig Trophy, Vuelta Valenciana, Semana Catalana, Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Vuelta a Catalunya, Tour de Luxembourg, Deutschland Tour, Vuelta a Burgos and Vuelta a Espana '03 (70 days of competitions c.ca).

Fassa Bortolo appeals Venice Court. On 30 July 2018 the appeal is rejected. In March 2019 the deadlines for a possible appeal to the Court of Cassation expired.

Major results[edit]

1996 - Saeco
1997 - Saeco
1998 - Saeco
1999 - Saeco-Cannondale
Hofbrau Cup
2000 - Fassa Bortolo
2001 - Fassa Bortolo
Tour de Romandie
Giro d'Italia - Stage 15
2002 - Vini Caldirola
Italy National Time-Trial Champion
Tour de Romandie
Subida a Urkiola
Tour de France - Stage 17
2003 - Fassa Bortolo
Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Giro d'Italia - Stage 18
2004 - Fassa Bortolo
2005 - Fassa Bortolo

See also[edit]

External links[edit]