Cunego won the Giro d’Italia in 2004, while just 22 years of age, but has not approached that same level of consistency since in Grand Tours. He has made several anti-doping statements in recent years and has said that he will never again be the rider that he was six years ago. Rightly or wrongly, some have interpreted this as an subtle admission that he once used products but has since decided to ride clean. Another possible interpretation is that he has not had the same recovery since being struck with the Epstein Barr virus in 2005.
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Damiano Cunego has said he is not worried about the outcome of the doping investigation that recently ended in Mantova but has welcomed the idea of a change of management at Lampre-ISD as the team tries to recover from the news that most of the riders, staff and team management are embroiled in the investigation.
A total of 32 people are involved in the investigation, including past and present Lampre riders, directeur sportif, team manager Giuseppe Saronni and Mantova pharmacist Guido Nigrelli.
Mantova public prosecutor Antonino Condorelli revealed details of a two-year investigation last week (April 2011) and under Italian law, a judge will now decide which of the 32 people named will go on trial. A decision is expected within the next two months.