Another chapter of the tug of war between the champion and Federghiaccio
The Italian short track champion Arianna Fontana will not participate in the first World Cup races in Canada, she wants clarity after her accusations against her teammates who, according to her, tried to make her fall during training. “I am a woman of my word so today I am not leaving for Montreal, I am not at the airport or already on the plane headed to Canada for the first World Cup of the season… As I have been saying for some time, I will not compete until this situation will not be resolved and this will not begin until the investigation is closed.” Arianna Fontana wrote it on Facebook, returning once again to the tug-of-war with Federghiaccio. “Not taking to the rink next weekend makes me very sad because I know that I would have represented Italy well thanks to the work done. To all of you fans, I won’t hide from you that I really miss the emotions I feel when I’m on the ice and those that transmit… you don’t know how much! Now, however, I can only wait for this situation to run its course, which could happen in 2 days or 2 years. But as many of you have told me and written to me in recent months, everything returns, and the truth will come out.”
The Federation’s response to the Italian champion is ready. “It’s all in the hands of the judges, there is a sports justice procedure that is going through its process, at the end of which the prosecutor will decide whether the case should be archived or sent to the judges and then another process will start with judges who they will carry out a new investigation and will make a decision. The process is still very long. Am I worried? No, I am very calm, justice will carry out its process and decide. It is the athlete’s personal choice not to go to Montreal. I presume that will continue to train”, explained Andrea Gios, president of the Italian Ice Sports Federation to Adnkronos, on the latest episode of the controversy with Arianna Fontana, the most medaled athlete in the history of the Winter Olympic Games in the Italian home, who in a post on social media announced he was going to Montreal, Canada for the first World Cup of the short track season. The story has been dragging on for years, ever since Arianna Fontana decided to report the alleged incidents that occurred during the national team’s training sessions.
“There is a process which is dictated by sports justice and which still involves several steps. An investigation was carried out by the federal prosecutor together with the CONI prosecutor’s office, when they have completed the process they will decide whether to dismiss or send for trial , then a judging panel made up of three judges will take the cards into their hands who will analyze everything, question the people and go to trial, which will then be appealable”, explained Gios. The number one of the Fisg underlined that for Montreal as for other races “Arianna has a wild card that we as a federation give to very important athletes, like her. Therefore she has the possibility of being added to the World Cup team in whenever you deem it appropriate. You have it like Lollobrigida or Sighel, the athletes who have had certain results have the wild card to be admitted by right without doing trials. They are two separate things, it happens for all the athletes who have have won medals at the Olympics or have had important results, they have wild cards so they can train. It has always been there, Arianna has always had a wild card.”
Fontana would probably like to wait for the investigation to be concluded. “She is completely free to make the choices she wants. She claims that she was damaged by two athletes during training in 2018 and says until justice has punished these athletes she will not return to skating, but justice must carry out some analyses, there will then be a trial. It’s Arianna’s choice. We have to respect it. Are you sorry? I’m always sorry when an athlete doesn’t compete, I’m sorry but at the same time I have to respect this choice and I can’t interfere with sporting justice, it’s outside of the control of the federation, but it is a very long process”, reiterated Gios. “It’s not that once the Prosecutor’s Office has decided everything will be finished, it would only end if the Prosecutor’s Office decided to dismiss it. If instead it decides to send these two athletes to trial, it’s not finished, there are then two other levels of judgement, one of federal panel made up of three judges, which can then be appealed to the Coni Court of Appeal. The process is quite long and leaves me perplexed because the first level of judgment could arrive in months, but I think Arianna knows this”, concluded the president of the Federghiaccio.