Unravelling the mystery of Pantani
If you missed Matt Rendell's feature on Marco Pantani in the weekend's Observer Sport Monthly it's worth a web read.
When news broke of Pantani's apparently sudden and lonely demise in a hotel room last month, early mainstream reports concentrated on his youth and relatively recent cycling glories. Little was known about the circumstances of his death other than that tranquilisers and other prescription drugs were found near the body, but cycling press reports quoting Pantani's friends in the cycling world pointed to the possibility of a breakdown and even suicide.
It's since been made public that Pantani suffered a cerebral and pulmonary oedema, probably brought on by a combination of malnourishment with the use of tranquilisers, sedatives, anti-depressants and cocaine. Rendell's article looks at the extent to which Pantani's life seems to have unravelled in the months before his death, and the impact of years of legal wrangling over doping allegations. Check here for Rendell's article.