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Marco Pantani: The Eternal Pirate

Of course it ended in a hotel room. These were the hotel rooms where Marco Pantani had his legs massaged after his greatest victories and hid from the press. It was a hotel room, room 27 in the Hotel Touring in the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio, where the downward spiral began. And it was room D5 of the Residence Le Rose in Rimini where he died. On February 14, 2004, exactly 20 years ago.

Hotel staff found one of Italian sport’s biggest stars on the floor of his room after he had not left the room for days, the door blocked with overturned and destroyed furniture, the bins full of pizza boxes and Coke cans. According to the autopsy report in 2004 and a new medical report in 2015, Marco Pantani died of a cocaine overdose without any outside influence.

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