The cycling team Trek-Segafredo has dismissed Italian cyclist Antonio Tiberi two months after he was suspended from the team.
The team had suspended him in Feburary after he admitted to having killed his neighbor’s cat with an air rifle.
“Trek Segafredo and Antonio Tiberi have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately, after the rider’s actions during his suspension did not meet our criteria for a return to competition,” the team said in a statement on Friday. “No further comments will be given at this time.”
Trek-Segafredo said Tiberi was free to sign with another team.
The cat belonged to Federico Pedini Amati, a minister in San Marino and a former Captain Regent, or head of state, of the microstate. Amati called the police and pressed charges.
Tiberi admitted to having shot it, but said that he had not intended to kill it and that he was testing the range of a new air rifle he had purchased in the summer of 2022.
He said that he first fired at a traffic sign and the pellet did not reach; then he aimed for the cat and it did.
“I didn’t want to kill it and was even convinced my gun wasn’t lethal,” he told the court.
The 21-year-old, a former world junior champion considered a promising young talent despite no major victories to speak of so far, was sentenced by a court in San Marino to a fine of €4,000 (roughly $4,500) in February.
His racing team immediately suspended him for at least 20 days without payment.
Tiberi’s salary was to be donated to an animal charity.
The cyclist apologized for the incident in March via an instagram post. He said he deeply regretted his “tremendously stupid and irresponsible” actions.
He promised to make donations from his winnings to organizations that look after stray cats.
ns/msh (dpa, Reuters)