According to a new report, the results of the lengthy, posthumous investigation into the death of Marco Pantani has ruled-out any notion of foul play in this death.
Indeed, the investigation dismisses any suspicion that Pantani was the victim of a homicide, but rather the late Italian rider, who was found dead in a hotel room in Rimini more than a decade ago, died as a result of an overdose of anti-depressants and cocaine as a contributing factor.
A previous autopsy concluded that Pantani had died as a result of a cocaine overdose, however, the case was reopened after a private investigation paid by his family, heavily publicized the claim that he had been murdered.
Rimini public prosecutor, Paolo Giovagnoli, asked forensic expert Professor Franco Tagliaro to re-examine the evidence, and as reported by the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, he has rejected the idea raised by Pantani’s family, that he was forced to drink a lethal amount of cocaine mixed with water.
According to Corriere della Sera, Tagliaro was able to re-examine the blood and urine samples from the Giuseppe Fortini’s original autopsy, which were thought to have been destroyed. As a result, his findings contradicted the original autopsy’s premise that cocaine was the principal cause of death, and therefore, ruled out any suspicion that Pantani had been murdered.
In the report, which spans some 30 pages, Tagliaro confirms that Pantani was taking cocaine in smaller amounts than originally reported. However, he had taken large quantities of anti-depressant drugs, and the combined effects of both substances iOS what led to his death.
“The combined action can provide a full explanation of the death,” Tagliaro said.
The original autopsy drew no conclusions as to whether Pantani’s death had been suicide or an accident, and the preliminary remarks in Tagliaro’s new report agreed that there could be no definitive answer.
“Excessive intake can be caused by the desire to solve the problem of depression and then taking the wrong dose, or with the aim of self-destruction (the antidepressants in question are among the medicines most commonly used for suicide),” he wrote.
However, Tagliaro ruled out the murder hypothesis put forward by the Pantani family’s lawyer Antonio De Rensis.
“No concrete evidence emerged to suggest that the medicine or drugs were taken under duress,” Tagliaro said.
As a result of Tagliaro’s report, Giovagnoli told Corriere della Sera:
“In light of these results, I’m looking to close the case.”
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