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Alessandro Ballan (BMC)
No official notice give to team in Mantova doping investigation
The BMC Racing Team announced today that it has lifted the suspension of Italians Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio, who had been on inactive status since May 2.
The two were named as being subjects in a doping investigation taking place in Mantova, Italy, which has been ongoing since last year and dates back to the time both riders were on the Lampre team.
The Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported last month a list of 32 people being targeted by the case, and the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor was reportedly studying the evidence.
Earlier this month it published a transcript of a conversation from 2009 alleged to have taken place between Mantova pharmacist Guido Nigrelli and Ballan in which they discuss doping, and the team responded by placing the two riders on suspension.
However, weeks have passed without the team being notified of the conversation by any anti-doping authorities.
"To date, the BMC Racing Team has never been notified by any authorities regarding these alleged actions and conversations," BMC Racing Team President and General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. "We support all anti-doping policies and initiatives and, within the team, we are confident that since the two joined the BMC Racing Team in 2010 no doping issues have arisen."
The team said that both riders are cooperating fully and should any authority present the team with documented information, it "will take all appropriate actions that are required".