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Paolo Savoldelli dons his fourth leader's jersey
Italian facing 2 years plus 8 months
The anti-doping prosecutor for the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has requested a ban for the retired Italian cyclist Paolo Savoldelli of two years and eight months in length
The CONI made the announcement today, stating, "the measure was introduced in response to the request of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to open disciplinary proceedings against him", but made no reference to the actual events that precipitated the recommended ban.
It had been speculated that Savoldelli was one of the redacted names ("Rider 1") in the testimony provided by former teammate Tom Danielson to USADA on the doping programme in place at Discovery Channel.
Danielson described how "Rider 1," a fellow Ferrari client, had organised a system for obtaining EPO during the 2006 Giro d’Italia. "I went to Rider 1 and asked him if he could help me with EPO for the race but he said that he had only enough for himself," Danielson said.
Savoldelli did not deny that he had been a client of Dr. Michele Ferrari, telling Gazetta dello Sport in February, "I collaborated with him in the past, but that was well-known and I didn't hide it."
Ferrari was given a lifetime ban by the US Anti Doping Agency as part of its investigation into doping at the US Postal Service team. Savoldelli raced toward the end of the team's existence while it was sponsored by Discovery Channel in 2005 and 2006.
Savoldelli himself guessed the charges could be in relation to the statements of Danilo Di Luca made on television earlier this year.