The Italian pro-cyclist Marco Pantani was found dead in a hotel room in the Italian city of Rimini on Saturday. He was 34-years old.
The cause of death is not known, but it was according to the local police no sign of violence. The hotel where he was found is not far from his home in Cesenatico.
â€œThe Pirateâ€ won both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France overall titles in 1998. A positive doping test the year after lead to his disqualification from Giro d’Italia two stages from the finish. He was at that point the clear overall leader.
He has been trailed by doping rumors since those incidents. He was suspended during the 2001 Giro d’Italia following the discovery of insulin in his hotel room.
An Italian court decided last year that the 1998 blood test wasn’t a proof that he had doped, but his carrier was already destroyed.
His last team, Mercatone Uno was cancelled last season and Pantani checked in to a psychiatric clinic. He did this after his team was denied entry to the Tour de France.