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Rapha criticised over Pantani water bottle text’s links to eating disorders

Text described as “extremely irresponsible” by customer who was fat-shamed in his racing days

Rapha has been criticised over text relating to Marco Pantani that appear on one of the water bottles it sells, which some social media users say may encourage eating disorders.

Since its earliest days, the London-based brand has included snippets of text relating to cycling history in its products – in the case of clothing, often in the form of a white patch sewn on the inside.

On Wednesday, Twitter user Dave Standard posted a picture of a white Rapha water bottle and said the brand was “extremely irresponsible” for including text on the reverse that highlighted Pantani’s diet.

The text read: “To achieve race weight, Marco Pantani would, according to legend, ride for six hours on nothing more than water, returning home to just a slice of watermelon.”

In a series of tweets, Standard outlined the struggles he had encountered with his weight both while racing and afterwards, including a coach calling him a “fat pudding” and suggesting he was better suited to racing on the track rather than the road.

Among the replies was one from Paralympic rowing and handcycling champion Rachel Morris, who said that her own struggles with anorexia and bulimia had nearly led to her dying.

Others questioned the wisdom of using Pantani at all due to his doping history, as well as recreational drug use that led to his death in 2004 in a Rimini hotel room.

Rapha has acknowledged Standard’s tweet and said it would “pass it onto the team to look into.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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