Friday August 19 2011
Atalanta stars react to betting appeal

Thomas Manfredini “was destroyed” by the betting scandal accusation and won his appeal, but Cristiano Doni is still “very bitter.”

The two Atalanta players were originally banned for over three years as part of an investigation into illegal betting syndicates and alleged match-fixing.

This evening Manfredini won his appeal and was cleared, but Doni's three-and-a-half-year ban remains intact along with the six points docked from Atalanta.

“I was destroyed during these two months,” said Manfredini. “It was all over an absurd thing I didn't even do. I wouldn't even wish this upon my worst enemy.

“I was training when the news came through and celebrated with my teammates, although obviously it was only half a celebration, seeing as Doni and Atalanta are still penalised.

“I still can't figure out how I became involved in this whole affair. I think the person who accused me has a guilty conscience.”

Atalanta captain Doni also maintained his innocence, but his ban was upheld in today's appeal.

“The nightmare is over for Thomas, while there is bitterness around Cristiano's situation,” said lawyer Salvatore Pino.

“I maintain you cannot condemn and ban a player based on gossip or anonymous letters. These things shouldn't happen to anybody.

“It's premature to ask what we'll do next, as I want to read the motivation given by the court and then we'll see how to proceed.

“Doni is very bitter and upset, although he still has hope. He knows we will emerge from this saga with the right recognition for all the suffering he has been put through.”

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