Antonio Tiberi is considered one of Italy’s greatest cycling talents, but the 21-year-old has now made headlines for a completely different reason. A court at his home in San Marino sentenced him to a fine of 4,000 euros, according to a report by “Corriere della Serra” – because he shot the tourism minister’s cat.

His racing team Trek-Segafredo then announced on Tuesday that they knew nothing about the incident and immediately suspended Tiberi for at least 20 days without pay. Tiberi’s salary is to be donated to an animal charity. The professional will miss three races, and the team expressly did not rule out an extension of the suspension.

In the summer of 2022, Tiberi bought an air rifle and wanted to try it out. So he first shot a traffic sign from the window of his apartment. hit. Then he decided to aim for a cat’s head. hit. The cat belonged to Federico Amati, the Minister of Tourism of San Marino. He called the police and the case ended up in court.

There, Tiberi, once the junior world champion in the individual time trial, testified last November, according to the report: “I just wanted to test the range of the weapon. I was stupid and then I wanted to meet a cat. To my surprise, I actually met her. I didn’t want to kill her and I even believed my weapon wasn’t lethal.”

But it was, the shot in the head immediately took the animal out of life. After the verdict, Amati was disappointed. “You can’t shoot a pet and get away with a fine of 4,000 euros,” said the politician. If Tiberi had done the same in Italy, he would have been jailed for at least four months.