Trek-Segafredo announced on Friday they have ‘parted ways’ in a ‘mutual agreement’ with Antonio Tiberi, 21.
The Italian was suspended by the team in February when it emerged that he had been fined €4,000 for killing a cat with an air rifle near his San Marino home last June.
“Trek-Segafredo and Antonio Tiberi have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately, after the rider’s actions during his suspension did not meet our criteria for a return to competition,” the team stated.
Tiberi admitted to the incident when questioned by local authorities in November, saying he was trying to measure the air rifle’s range, telling Il Corriere della Sera, “I also admit that I (just as foolishly and unconsciously) tried to shoot a cat. And to my surprise I actually shot it. I had no intention of killing the animal. In fact, I was convinced the weapon was non-lethal.”
Indeed, the round proved lethal to the cat which unfortunately belonged to San Marino’s Minister for Tourism, Federico Pedini Amati – also former joint head of state.
Pedini Amati did not feel the punishment was enough for the senseless killing of his pet, saying, “The cat wasn’t bothering anyone,” according to Il Corriere. “It had been with us for a long time. My three-year-old daughter Lucia adored it. You can’t kill a pet and get away with a €4,000 fine.”
Tiberi, a former junior world time trial champion, had promised to donate any prize money to a regional organisation that cares for stray cats, but will not have the opportunity to earn any prizes with Trek-Segafredo after severing his contract.
Just days before his suspension, Tiberi was the victim of a bizarre crash at the UAE Tour when he suddenly lost control of his bike in sight of the finish line of the stage 2 time trial. There was apparently no cat involved in the incident.
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