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Trek-Segafredo pro fined for shooting and killing cat belonging to San Marino's former head of state

The Italian rider, who finished 7th on GC at last week's UAE Tour, has been fined €4,000 and suspended without pay for 20 days by his team...

In one of the more bizarre stories to come out of the pro cycling world in 2023 (so far), Trek-Segafredo's promising 21-year-old Antonio Tiberi has been fined €4,000 for shooting and killing a cat belonging to Federico Pedini Amati, the former head of state and current Minister of Tourism for San Marino. 

Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reported the news, sharing the court report which tells how Tiberi shot the animal with an air rifle from the window of his San Marino apartment.

The pet had been adopted by Pedini Amati, the political figure who served as Captain Regent, one of the landlocked country's joint heads of state that are elected every six months, between 1 April 2008 and October 2008 and is now a minister.

A few hours after the news broke in the Italian press, Trek-Segafredo released a statement, in which the team described Tiberi's actions as "reprehensible" and announcing that he has been suspended without pay for a minimum of 20 days.

"He fired shots in the direction of Via Istriani"

According to the court report, Tiberi "positioned himself with an air rifle – a Hatsan BT65 SB Elite model – at the window of the apartment where he lives in San Marino" before firing "shots in the direction of Via Istriani, deliberately hitting the skull of a moving cat". He was fined €4,000 in court and had the air rifle confiscated.

After the shooting, on June 21 last year, Pedini Amati, 46, found his injured pet and called the police who rushed to the scene. An investigation showed the animal had died instantly, leaving the Minister of Tourism in San Marino disappointed with what he sees as too lenient a sentence.

"The cat did not disturb anyone," the minister said. "He has been with us for a long time. My daughter Lucia, three years old, loved it. You can't kill a pet and get away with a €4,000 fine."

And while Pedini Amati said he appreciated Tiberi admitting the offence, he suggested that "people like that" should not be accepted in San Marino.

The young pro cyclist who has enjoyed success throughout his short career, landing top tens at WorldTour races and winning the junior TT at the World Championships in Harrogate in 2019, bought the weapon in the days before the incident and told the court he had simply been trying to "test the gun's firing capabilities".

"For example, I was aiming for a traffic sign," he said. "And I admit that I – stupidly and unconsciously – tried to catch a cat… To my surprise I really hit it… I had no intention of killing the animal. In fact, I was convinced that the weapon was not lethal."

In a statement released via A&J All Sports management, Tiberi again insisted it "was not my intention to kill the cat; it was an accident" but accepted his actions were "tremendously stupid and irresponsible".

The news of the court case puts a sour note on the young Italian's strong start to 2023, finishing eighth on GC and fourth on stage five of Tour Down Under, as well as securing a seventh-place finish at UAE Tour, the race where in 2021 he made headlines for crashing across the finish line during the TT.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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joe9090 | 7 months ago

Poor kitty. RIP

Paper Back Rider | 7 months ago

Trek should fire him. If not, at his next race he's fair game.

Glov Zaroff | 7 months ago

He's just been suspended by the team. Good. He's a f@cking cretin. I hope he gets hounded by the peloton. It's easy to see from social media posts that there are quite a few animal lovers in there. 

Awavey replied to Glov Zaroff | 7 months ago

20 days doesnt seem that much IMO, even if he misses a bunch of races.

Biker Phil replied to Glov Zaroff | 7 months ago

He shouldn't have been suspended, he should have been sacked. Bastard.

PRSboy | 7 months ago

If his version of events is true, which I doubt, what the hell is he doing discharging weapons in a residential area?

Must have pretty relaxed rules in San Marino, he's get jail time for that in the UK. 

brooksby replied to PRSboy | 7 months ago


In San Marino, only licensed gun owners may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession
Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in San Marino are only permitted to possess firearms for the purposes of hunting or sports shooting

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession
The minimum age for gun ownership in San Marino is 18 years

Gun Owner Background Checks
An applicant for a firearm licence in San Marino must pass a background check which considers criminal record and mental health status

Gun Owner Licensing Period
In San Marino, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every 1 year for ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns
Licensed firearm owners in San Marino are permitted to possess a maximum of twenty firearms

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition
Licensed firearm owners in San Marino are permitted to possess up to a maximum of 1,500 cartridges and 5 kg of gunpowder, or 3000 cartridges for holders of a hunting or sporting license

kil0ran replied to brooksby | 7 months ago

It's an air rifle, which probably isn't classified as a gun

(the pigeons on the estate I grew up on would probably disagree with this perspective)

andystow replied to kil0ran | 7 months ago
kil0ran wrote:

It's an air rifle, which probably isn't classified as a gun

(the pigeons on the estate I grew up on would probably disagree with this perspective)

It's capable of shooting at 1300 fps (about 400 m/s.) In the US state I live in, it would be classified as a firearm because that's more than 700 fps. Hopefully San Marino has stricter regulation than the USA.

For comparison, the Red Ryder BB gun ("you'll shoot your eye out, kid!") from A Christmas Story was capable of about 350 fps (about 100 m/s.)

joe9090 replied to kil0ran | 7 months ago

My estate also in the 80's. OMG the HORROR!

Rendel Harris replied to PRSboy | 7 months ago
PRSboy wrote:

If his version of events is true, which I doubt

That air rifle is an extremely expensive and powerful model specifically designed for field shooting, so the "I didn't think it could kill a cat" excuse is definitely bollocks, this isn't some kid plinking away with a BB gun and having a terrible accident. Hope TSF impose some appropriately serious sanctions on him, they need to think about the reputational damage if they don't.

peted76 | 7 months ago

What an absolute idiot, he's either thick as a brick or has some behavioural issues.

If I were Trek I would be very concerned about my sponsors not wanting him on the team...

I wonder if we'll get cat costumes running up the road in his next race?

kil0ran replied to peted76 | 7 months ago

Should serve a suspension. Reminds me of the Kurt Zouma (footballist) incident a couple of years ago.

Also reminds me that my team played his straight afterwards and the halftime PA was all cat songs.

Awavey replied to peted76 | 7 months ago

Given Trek suspended a rider for social media posts, I cant see how they cant apply the same punishment here.

Broady. | 7 months ago


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