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Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team)
BMC closes its internal investigation
Former world champion Alessandro Ballan is no longer withheld from competition by his BMC Racing Team. As the American outfit announced on Friday morning, it has concluded its internal investigation into the alleged doping past of his rider, and "could not find indications that Ballan was involved in any doping in connection with his former team, Lampre."
BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz indicated that Ballan "has fully cooperated with the Italian authority and has provided the investigation authority with all requested information and even more. Apart of that, no sporting authority has opened a proceeding against Alessandro Ballan so far. Given all these aspects, the BMC Team has no reason at all to not respect the presumption of innocence and will no longer withhold Alessandro Ballan from competition."
The Italian rider had been pulled from competition by his team on April 9, a few days after it was made public that Ballan was part of the Mantova police investigation being conducted in Italy. The Tour of Flanders winner had ties to Guido Nigrelli, the pharmacist believed to have supplied the Lampre team with performance-enhancing drugs in 2008 and 2009.
Both Ballan and Nigrelli haave confirmed their relationship, but maintained that no prohibited substances or methods were provided or used.