+1. Shame that a heart of Italian cycling has this much damaged tissue. How do Italians feel about it?
Most don't care too much. Though what is bothersome to me, is that Italy has, despite all its short-commings, aggressively persued bringing its culprits to justice. Once a banned rider has served his time, the rules state that he has the right to return to his-her profession. Some, like Basso, play the good-boy act, tow the official anti-doping rhetoric and get welcomed back with open arms. Others, like Riccò, refuse to mix words or lapse too heavily into the hypocrisy of an official "demeanor" and, consequently; become ostrisized by the power-players within that system who prefer a more hypocritical approach because convenient to the desired image of the cycling corporatocracy (and thus have a much more difficult time coming back to the top ranks of the sport).
In any case at least CONI has taken an aggressive anti-doping position, unlike the Spanish for example - and at the cost of promoting a negative image of Italian cycling, as if it were more involved than the rest of the international cylcing community. Italy is no more corrupt in its cycling practices than Spain, Belgium, Germany, the US or anybody else. Such a negative image is, of course, justified: but no more than the other cycling nations. I would be cautious, therefore, about making bold statements of condemnation about Italian athletes, its "damaged tissue," who return. At least they were prosecuted and for every one who was caught, there are ten others in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany and the US who continue to advance their careers while having commited the same crime though, seemingly, with impunity.