Italian Leonardo Bertagnolli, 30 years old, hit back at the accusations of Ivano Fanini that he trained under the supervision of Doctor Michele Ferrari in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in the days leading to his victory in the Gran Premio di Camaiore, August 7.
"I was astonished that Ivano Fanini spoke of me directly to the press... I categorically refute that I was in St. Moritz with Dr. Ferrari," stated Bertagnolli in a press release on Friday.
Fanini, Team Manager of Amore & Vita-McDonald's and outspoken anti-doping critic, took aim at Team Liquigas' Bertagnolli after his win in Camaiore. "He should be disqualified because he prepared in St. Moritz with Doctor Michele Ferrari, instead he is still racing and winning races," said Fanini, according to Agr.
Ferrari worked as a sport physician for professional cycling teams and riders from 1984 onwards. In 2002, Italian public prosecutors accused him of sporting fraud and other violations of anti-doping laws, but the charges were dismissed in 2006 due to the expiration of the limitation period.
"As I explained in the press conference following my win in Camaiore, I trained for a period at altitude where I stayed on Stelvio, Passo Pordoi and Eira," Bertagnolli continued to explain how he was not in St. Moritz. "Like Fanini knows well, the temperatures in these last weeks have not consented to training of more than a few hours a day."
He added that his team and the cycling organisations know his whereabouts. "The UCI, CONI and FCI know where I have bee in the last weeks ... I have updated them regularly via ADAMS [Anti-Doping Administrative Management System] and RTP [Registered Testing Pool]."
Bertagnolli has obtained legal advice based on Fanini's accusations. Fanini released a statement this morning, in which he asked for clarification from Bertagnolli.