Cyclist Suspended for Shooting San Marino Minister’s Cat

Izzy Morris

Former juniors time trial world champion cyclist, Antonio Tiberi has been fined 4000 euros and suspended from Trek-Segafredo after killing his neighbour’s cat – who just so happens to be San Marino’s Tourism and Post Office Minister (and former head of state) Federico Pedini Amati. Impact‘s Izzy Morris brings us up to date.

Reports this week have suggested that the rider was practising with an air rifle at his home. He aimed and shot at the cat, but did not intend to kill the cat, not realising that it would be fatal. Tiberi has maintained that the incident was an accident in a statement posted on Instagram.

The rider has so far been suspended for 20 days, but there are ongoing discussions taking place among Trek Segafredo’s management about whether or not to exact further punishment, with team manager Luca Guercilena telling OA Sport that they’ve “started with a minimum suspension” and “are analysing the facts to understand how useful a suspension of this type is or if we need to take more decisive action”.

Sharing pictures of their own cats, many cycling fans have criticized Trek-Segafredo

The team have said that during Tiberi’s period of suspension, they will be donating his usual pay to an animal welfare charity. Tiberi soon followed suit with a promise that any prize money that he should earn this season will also be donated to such organizations in San Marino. He also furthered this promise by also resolving to spend time volunteering with animal charities himself, in order to ‘repair even a little bit of the damage and hurt that I have caused.’

Pedini Amati, speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, said that “the cat didn’t bother anyone,” and that “it has been with us for a long time. My three-year-old daughter Lucia loved it. You cannot kill a pet and get away with a 4000 euro fine.” This sentiment has been widely shared online by members of the professional cycling community, with an onslaught of responses to Tiberi’s apologetic statement condemning the act and demanding further punishment. Sharing pictures of their own cats, many cycling fans have criticized Trek-Segafredo for not taking more decisive action as a result of the incident.

It is unknown for certain when the rider will be back in the saddle

In their team statement, Trek-Segafredo condemned the ‘reprehensible act’, and made clear that ‘the team will work closely with Antonio to ensure he educates himself and expects him to take necessary steps to express his remorse and become a better person.’ Guercilena called his actions ‘inconceivable’, with the incident having ‘created image damage to himself, to the team and to the sponsors’. They also noted that they had not been made aware of the incident by Tiberi, leaving the team caught unawares and unprepared in the way of a response to the breaking story.

This comes before Tiberi was due to appear in three upcoming races; Trofeo Laigueglia, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Torino, all of which he will now be suspended from competing in, per his punishment from his team. It is unknown for certain when the rider will be back in the saddle.

Izzy Morris

Featured image used courtesy of Marc via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In article image 1 courtesy of @antonio.tiberi01 via Instagram. No changes were made to this image. 

In article image 2 courtesy of @antonio.tiberi01 and @treksegafredo via Instagram. No changes were made to this image. 

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