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Peter Sagan has been fined €5,000 ($5,600) by a Monaco court for injuring a police officer in an altercation in April after the car he was traveling in was pulled over for breaching a COVID-19 curfew, according to media reports.
Sagan was fined an additional €100 euros for breaking the curfew, and must also pay €1,500 ($1,700) in compensation to the officer.
French newspaper Nice-Matin reported that the three-time former world champion was in a car driven by his brother Juraj in Monaco when they were stopped by police at about 12:30 a.m. on April 25.
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According to the report, Sagan was drunk at the time of the incident as he was “returning from a night when a lot of alcohol had been consumed,” and that he “struggled like a madman” when police attempted to take him from the vehicle.
Sagan, who is moving from Bora-Hansgrohe to Team TotalEnergies next season, has since published an apology for his behavior.
“Regarding the news that appeared today related to the night of April 25th, I wish to take this opportunity to convey my most sincere apologies. It was an ugly experience that made me think profoundly and draw valuable lessons. I am truly sorry for this incident which will not happen again,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Sagan reportedly kicked and punched at officers and ultimately injured one in his right hand, the court was told.
Sagan’s lawyers, who attempted to have the case quashed, said he had become angry when police tried to take him to a hospital. The Slovakian was not vaccinated at the time of the incident, and he feared he would be forced to get one, his lawyers argued.
“For several hours, our client was left without a lawyer. He was notified of the facts two and a half hours after his arrest. Putting aside his aggressive and arrogant attitude, he was on his way home and he got angry when it came to taking him to the hospital in Monaco,” the report said.
Laws in Monaco state that that vaccination is voluntary, and an individual must give consent before a shot can be given.
Current medical advice in Monaco recommends that people who have contracted COVID-19 do not get the vaccine for at least three months after testing positive. Sagan contracted COVID-19 in early February and was within this window, though it is not clear if this was the reason for his objection.
According to the report in Nice-Matin, Sagan told officers when in custody that he had “no recollection” of the incident and he apologized for it. His reaction to being pulled over was “out of fear” of being vaccinated and his “excessive alcohol consumption which he is not accustomed to.”
Sagan’s behavior was deemed to be “exceptional,” and the presiding judge chose not to give him a harsher punishment.
Rather than make the fine proportional to his salary, which is one of the biggest in professional cycling, he was handed a straight fine in addition to the compensation.