by Marcus Leach
Marco Pantani was one of the most liked cyclists of recent years, not to mention one of the greatest. And so, when it was announced he had been found dead in his room in 2004, the cycling world was in shock.
As with any high-profile case there were many theories as to what had happened, with the official verdict at the time being that he had died of a cocaine overdose. Given his, and cycling's, association with drugs at the time it wasn't totally unbelievable.
There was no questioning his ability, even to this day he remains the last man to have won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia in the same year, yet many questioned his morals at a time when cycling was shrouded by a veil of performance enhancing drugs.
Ultimately it seemed as if the accusations and pressures against him lead to his downfall. That was until now and the news that prosecutors in Italy have reopened an inquiry into his death after his family presented what it says is evidence he was murdered.
Pantani's mother believes her son, who was 34 when he died, was murdered. She alleges that he was beaten and forced to drink a lethal dose of cocaine dissolved in liquid.
"We have just received documents sent by those close to [Pantani] and we have opened an investigation," said Paolo Giovagnoli, the public prosecutor in Rimini, where Pantani's body was found.
"We will read them and if we decide to proceed with a new investigation, we will appoint an examining magistrate to do so."
Mrs Pantani told la Repubblica newspaper that she will not stop until justice is done. The family say that marks found on his body show that he was beaten
"I will never stop until I see the truth written about Marco," Mrs Pantani told la Repubblica newspaper.
"My feeling from the very beginning was that he had discovered something and somebody shut his mouth."