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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 12, 2012

Date published:
October 12, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Ferrari could face criminal charges in Armstrong case

    Dr Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 6:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Italians nearly complete with investigation

    Lance Armstrong's trusted trainer and doctor Michele Ferrari could face criminal charges in addition to his lifetime ban, which was a result of the US Anti-Doping Agency's comprehensive case, in a new investigation by Italian authorities.

    The latest investigation, which has been led by Padova prosecutor Benedetto Roberti for the past two years at least, is coming to a close soon, according to the Associated Press. Roberti was reportedly cooperating with a US federal probe run by Jeff Novitzky. That same probe was closed by US Attorney Andre Birotte.

    The report states that the investigation is thought to involve some 70 individuals, including 20 athletes in addition to doctors, soigneurs and other staff. Cyclingnews has earlier reported the names of several riders under Roberti's scrutiny, including Giovanni Visconti, Diego Caccia, Moris Possoni and Michele Scarponi, and more recently Leonardo Bertagnolli.

    "Armstrong is not under investigation. There are no Americans but there are several foreigners," an AP source stated. "There are no tennis players or athletes from other well-known sports."

    Ferrari previously faced criminal charges for sporting fraud based upon the testimony of rider Filippo Simeoni in 2004. Simeoni testified that Ferrari advised him to use EPO and testosterone as part of his training regime, and in 2002 served a short suspension based upon his admissions. His accusation...

  • Van Den Broeck and Devolder "didn't notice anything" at US Postal

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol)
    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 10:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian riders shocked at USADA revelations

    Grand Tour specialist Jurgen Van Den Broeck and former Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder have said they are surprised and shocked by the revelations published in USADA's "Reasoned Decision", that detailing the organised doping scheme of Lance Armstrong and his team manager Johan Bruyneel. Both Belgian riders raced for Armstrong's US Postal Service team during their early careers. They told Sporza they had no knowledge of what was going on behind the scenes.

    "I'm shocked, because I never noticed anything," said Devolder, who was part of the American squad from 2004 to 2007, and who will join the RadioShack team in 2013. "I can hardly believe it's true. They always insisted we had to play by the rules. The team carried clean cycling high on its flag."

    While at Discovery Channel in 2007, the talented Devolder experienced a breakthrough year, becoming Belgian national champion, winning the Tour of Austria and finishing third in the Tour de Suisse. "Of course, I wasn't part of the Tour de France team, but I can't remember a positive case during that time. To me, all of this seems a lot like a payoff," he added.

    Van Den Broeck, who raced in Armstrong's team from 2004 to 2006, echoed Devolder's statements. "I never noticed anything forbidden," he said. "I never heard or saw anything. I was only 21 years old then, and raced another programme compared to the big names. I raced perhaps three times with Armstrong himself."

    "I was treated respectfully and patiently by Dirk Demol, always with care, never any pressure. It was ideal for a young rider with ambition for the Grand Tours."

  • Report: Cancellara critical of Bruyneel and Armstrong

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) enjoys what may be his last day in the maillot jaune
    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 12:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider unsure of his future at RadioShack-Nissan-Trek

    Fabian Cancellara has questioned if he can continue to work with Johan Bruyneel at the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team following the revelations of the USADA doping investigation. 

    Speaking to selected media high in the Swiss mountains, Cancellara moved to take the moral high ground, criticising Armstrong and the riders of his generation. He distanced himself from the Belgian team manager but praised RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team owner Flavio Becca.

    Cancellara said that he has not read the 202 pages of the USADA Reasoned Decision but is aware of the contents.

    "It reads like a book. I hear that in 200 pages Bruyneel’s name appears 129 times. I want to know what happened. But I don’t know what the future brings. Neither for Bruyneel or for the team. It’s not in my hands,” Cancellara is reported as saying in the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper.

    “I do not know how owner Flavio Becca will react. He hasn’t experienced any problems with his team in the last two years. He’s lost money, not won and now has a bad image. Every normal businessman would throw in the towel, but I do not think Becca will.”

    Last of the Mohicans

    Cancellara reportedly tried to break his 2013 contract with RadioShack-Nissan but opted to stay in the troubled team. The multiple Classics winner and former world time trial champion has been a professional since 2000. He was part of the Mapei development team before riding for Fassa...

  • McQuaid tight-lipped on UCI response to USADA reasoned decision

    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 13:56 BST
    Barry Ryan

    UCI President against an amnesty

    UCI president Pat McQuaid gave little away on the governing body’s response to the publication of USADA’s reasoned decision into the doping investigation when he spoke briefly with reporters at the Tour of Beijing on Friday.

    The Irishman arrived in the Chinese capital in the early hours of Friday morning, and intimated that he would meet with the press after the finish of stage 4 in Changping, albeit simply to talk about the race.

    It was a wish that even McQuaid must have realised was never likely to be respected. A 1,000-page dossier providing rigorous detail of the systematic doping practices of a seven-time Tour de France winner is surely of more urgent priority to the UCI president than the Tour of Beijing.

    McQuaid did reply to questions on the Armstrong case, although he was he was reticent to provide any insight into the UCI’s response to the USADA report beyond confirming that the governing body had received the dossier.

    “The UCI has received the USADA report. We have 21 days to consider it, to evaluate it. I have made it a priority within the legal department to get that done,” McQuaid said.

    “Within that 21 days, we’ll come back with an analysis and some decisions. It would be wrong of me to pre-empt or second-guess what our lawyers are going to advise us about it, so that’s as much as I want to say about it.”

    The 1,000-page USADA report includes testimony from 26 individuals as well as a slew of documentary evidence including financial statements and laboratory results that paints a damning picture of the doping culture fostered at Armstrong’s US Postal Service team.

    Asked if he had himself read the report,...

  • Report: Bruyneel could be sacked today

    Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel face the press
    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 14:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Team owners to decide future of Armstrong's former boss

    According to Luxemburg media RTL, the future of current RadioShack-Nissan team manager Johan Bruyneel could be decided as soon as today. The news outlet reported that "it is possible that the former boss of Lance Armstrong will be sacked."

    Bruyneel, who was managing Lance Armstrong's teams throughout the height of his career, has been accused by the USADA report of playing an active part in the doping schemes that allowed the Texan to win seven Tours de France. The Belgian Cycling federation is currently investigating the charges put forward by USADA, and could hand Bruyneel a lifetime ban.

    USADA's reasoned decision in the Armstrong case, issued on Wednesday, described Bruyneel as a key player in the organized doping which took place at the US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams. Bruyneel has constantly denied such charges. Neither he nor his current team, RadioShack-Nissan, have yet commented on the USADA report.

    The overwhelming evidence in this case is that Johan Bruyneel was intimately involved in all significant details of the U.S. Postal team’s doping program. "He alerted the team to the likely presence of testers. He communicated with Dr. Ferrari about his stars’ doping programs," the document said.

    "He was on top of the details for organizing blood transfusion programs before the major Tours, and he knew when athletes needed to take EPO to regenerate their blood supply after extracting blood. He was present when blood transfusions were given. He even personally provided drugs to the riders on occasion."

  • David Millar calls on Verbruggen to step down from UCI

    David Millar (Garmin - Sharp)
    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 14:49 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Vaughters says USADA's investigation is a catalyst for change

    David Millar has called for the UCI’s honorary President Hein Verbruggen to step down in light of the damning evidence collected by USADA in the investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal and Discovery cycling teams.

    Verbruggen, 72, served at the President of the sport’s governing body from 1991 until 2005, before Pat McQuaid, the current president, succeeded him. Under Verbruggen’s stewardship Armstrong and Bruyneel were central to what USADA called “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen".

    Millar, who raced against Armstrong and who himself served a ban for drug use, has been a stern advocate for anti-doping since his comeback. As well as being a spokesperson for WADA, the Garmin-Sharp rider has positioned himself in a team that has formed a no drugs policy since its inception in 2008.

    USADA’s 1,000 pages of evidence contain testimony from Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton and Jonathan Vaughters, with all three former US Postal riders swearing under oath that Armstrong told them he could have anti-doping tests nullified by the UCI.

    Verbruggen and McQuaid have strenuously denied this, suing Landis and journalist Paul Kimmage after the pair made allegations of corruption in the UCI.

    Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Millar said: “"The UCI have to accept they have to carry some responsibility for this because it was obvious what was going on."

    "The UCI had all the blood data, the medical reports, it was part of the culture of the sport and in the big races the majority of riders were doing it on drugs. There was only a tiny minority getting good results without drugs and...

  • Tour de France director against reassigning Armstrong’s victories

    Armstrong counting the number of Tours that have now been stripped.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 16:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Prudhomme says an era will forever be tainted

    The director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme has said he is in favour of not reassigning victories in the Tour de France following the massive amount of evidence uncovered by the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and his teams.

    Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times between 1999 and 2005 but has since lost those victories following the verdict and sanctions issued by USADA.

    Under UCI rules, the second placed rider is usually awarded victory. However, ASO opted to put an asterisk next to Bjarne Riis’ name after he confessed to doping when he won the 1996 Tour de France.

    “What we want is that there is no winner. We cannot be indifferent to what USADA unveiled this week, it's a damning picture.” L’Equipe reports Prudhomme as saying.

    “This is the questioning of a system and also of an era that will forever be tainted.

    "Surprising as it may seem from the outside, the organizers do not their records ,” he said, while also praising the efforts cycling has made in recent years.

    “It is these difficulties that has built the current anti-doping efforts,” he said. “Cycling and the UCI, as supervisor of this struggle, were pioneers.

    "The biological passport, the number of controls and their targeting, means they are more and more effective, so that the cheaters are caught quicker and quicker. We must continue on this path. There is no other way possible.”

  • RadioShack-Nissan cut ties with Bruyneel

    Johan Bruyneel ties up a few loose ends before the start of stage one.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2012, 17:24 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    USADA revelations prove detrimental for Belgian manager

    The Radioshack-Nissan-Trek team has confirmed that Johan Bruyneel has been dismissed from his role as general manager of the team as a consequence of the USADA doping investigation and the revelations of the USADA reasoned decision documents.

    “Acting in mutual agreement, on October 12 Leopard SA and Johan Bruyneel decided to end their collaboration. From this day on, Johan Bruyneel will no longer act in the position of General Manager of cycling team RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK,” a statement from the Luxembourg-based team reads.

    “The Reasoned Decision published by the USADA included a number of testimonies as a result of their investigation. In light of these testimonies, both parties feel it is necessary to make this decision since Johan Bruyneel can no longer direct the Team in an efficient and comfortable way. His departure is desirable to ensure the serenity and cohesiveness within the Team.”

    “RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK wishes to thank Johan Bruyneel for his dedication and devotion since his arrival in the Team.”

    "The USADA investigation does not concern the activities of Mr. Bruyneel while managing the RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK Team. Johan Bruyneel contests the validity of the procedure as well as the charges against him."

    The Radioshack-Nissan-Trek team described Bruyneel as the most successful directeur sportif in cycling history, but seven of the Tour de France victories he helped to direct are set to be nullified. It appears that Bruyneel’s role in cycling has now been consigned to history.

    Bruyneel managed Lance Armstrong's teams throughout the height of the Texan’s career after his own racing career with the ONCE team. He has been accused by the USADA report of playing an...