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Dr. Ferrari caught secretly training riders

Stephen Farrand
October 11, 2013, 16:55,
October 11, 2013, 17:56
Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 11, 2013
Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004

Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004

  • Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004
  • Dr Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004.
  • Dr. Ferrari was on the front cover of Corriere della Sera
  • Dr. Ferrari was spotted wearing a US Postal Service jersey

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Armstrong's former doctor photographed in a US Postal Service jersey

Dr Michele Ferrari may be banned for life after the damning verdict of the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong but the Italian sports doctor continues to train riders and comments on the major professional races and riders' performances on his website.

Italian journalist Marco Bonarrigo and photographer Mjrka Boensch Bees were recently given a tip-off about one of Dr. Ferrari's invitation-only training days called 'Vertical Climb'. They have captured some rare video footage and photographs of Ferrari riding a bike on the Monzuno climb near Bologna in central Italy.

Some of the images were published on the front page of the Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper and further details will be published on Monday in the Italian Cycling Pro magazine that is also available as a digital magazine.

Dr. Ferrari was wearing a vintage US Postal jersey during his ride, with rainbow bands on the sleeves indicating the jersey could have belonged to Lance Armstrong. He also wore a Livestrong Giro helmet and pink and blue Lampre shorts.

The Monzuno climb has been Dr. Ferrari's preferred Italian testing ground for many years just like the Col de la Madone in the South of France.

Tom Danielson revealed in his USADA affidavit that he underwent a test with Dr. Ferrari on the Monzuno climb back in 2004 while riding for Fassa Bortolo. He subsequently started doping and moved to Armstrong's Discovery Channel team for the 2005 season. He worked with Ferrari until 2006 before moving to Jonathan Vaughters's Slipstream team.

"Dr. Ferrari had me go through several 1 kilometer climbs on the Monzuno, the opening climb in the Giro dell’Emilia, an annual cycling race near Bologna, and he took various measurements, including my lactate, body fat and hematocrit and hemoglobin levels, Danielson said in his USADA affidavit.

"Dr. Ferrari seemed very surprised and impressed with my numbers. He asked how I was so good and had done so poorly in races. He told me that I had outperformed Lance Armstrong and the great Italian climber Francesco Casagrande on the climb."

489 mentions in the USADA report

Dr. Ferrari has vehemently denied the accusations of his former clients despite his name appearing 489 times in the 202-page Reasoned Decision document published by USADA. He is still at the centre of an investigation in Padua, with Italian investigators gathering evidence that was vital in USADA banning Dr. Ferrari. However the Italian legal system is notoriously slow and a preliminary judge has yet to decide if he and the others involved will ever go on trial.

In the meantime, Dr. Ferrari rides on defiantly and continues to coach riders. Professional riders and anyone with a licence, even to ride Grand Fondo events, are forbidden from working with him. Last year Filippo Pozzato, Michele Scarponi and Giovanni Visconti were all banned for three months for undergoing tests in recent years. Roman Kreuziger, who is with Bjarne Riis's Saxo-Tinkoff team, also admitted working with Dr. Ferrari. 

During his latest appearance on the Monzuno, the five veteran Gran Fondo riders who took up Dr. Ferrari's invitation for the coaching session on the day of the world road race championships reportedly quickly disappeared when they spotted the photographer.

Dr. Ferrari proudly rode on before disappearing into the mist and low cloud on the Monzuno climb.

Lightening Toke More than 1 year ago
Come on. Another misleading title. Who didn't think the title was referring to PRO riders? No. Some gran fondo riders. Argh.
kevinzamora More than 1 year ago
Wonder who those 5 guys where... but I bet the newly crowned world champ won't be happy to hear the guy's wearing his new team's shorts...
TANK91 More than 1 year ago
DW about that dude Costa is a very sketchy rider he dont care.
maplethedog More than 1 year ago
How the hell is that his fault? Man, you guys in here complain about CN, you're worse. And Costa is fine, get over it. Why do you guys even follow pro cycling? Why? Watch sitcoms or movies or...I know, go ride a bike! Dolts...
barthvos More than 1 year ago
Ferrari's mentality is poison in the sport. I wonder what action can be taken by CONI. Maybe trainig under Ferrari's supervision could count as a forbidden method.
Justine1 More than 1 year ago
Cycling News used to pay Ferrari to comment. Not seen that anywhere in the article.
london knight More than 1 year ago
I actually find his articles on power analysis quite interesting. This has nothing to do with doping
yenrod More than 1 year ago
Me too...
sbroaddus More than 1 year ago
sorry, but his former "students" didn't benefit from his "power analysis", they benefitted from doping, duh.
Pippo_San More than 1 year ago
So what? Ever underwent Conconi Test? Conconi has been and probably still is an amazing scientist, yet a doping doctor nonetheless and the mastermind behind Ferrari. Things in life tends to be in the grey zone a lot of times.
dsotherby More than 1 year ago
Dr. Ferrari's practices are in the gray zone? Wow, I wonder what you'd consider bad.
sbroaddus More than 1 year ago
thank you, dsotherby. it would appear that these "amazing scientific masterminds" have some fans of their own!
PavsWheels More than 1 year ago
I just want to know what brand of socks he was wearing...
Teddy Allen More than 1 year ago
sources from Bici Sport suggest that they were ankle length Credit Agricole coolmax socks made by Santini.
joechase More than 1 year ago
I would have thought a Dr could afford $80 Rapha socks.
Offrhodes More than 1 year ago
That color combination with the jersey, helmet, and shorts must tool like someone vomitted Fruity Pebbles.
Ian Barber More than 1 year ago
If ya Smeeeeeeeeelalalalalalalalaaaaaawwwww. What the ...
Justin O'Pinion More than 1 year ago
I find it curious that Ferrari hasn't lost his medical license outright. What's that oath doctors are supposed to swear to? Oh, I remember,... the hypocratic oath.
prototoast More than 1 year ago
The "hypocratic [sic] oath" is not something doctors are supposed to swear to, and I, for one, would be happier with a doctor who doesn't make pledges to ancient Greek deities.
Justin O'Pinion More than 1 year ago
You missed my point. Doctors, PHD's in physiology, whatever, should be there to help humankind. What Ferrari was/is doing could be potentially very harmful (now and/or long term) to the people he is/was treating. IRONY!
JackSpoke More than 1 year ago
Why does the article say he was 'caught' wearing a USPS jersey. This is crappy journalism. He may have been a key part of the doping program run by Lancs but he is a free man he can wear whatever he likes. This is a dumb article.
Gary333 More than 1 year ago
I think it'd be more scandalous if he wasn't wearing a jersey! Eewww!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The scandal I see here is that Ferrari was wearing a US Postal Jersey with Lampre shorts. Aren't Italian dudes supposed to have good fashion sense? I'm picturing the pink and blue shorts with the Postal jersey, and this vision warrants a life time ban in and of itself.
70kmph More than 1 year ago
Amazing liar, very skilled
bike_framed More than 1 year ago
You may think he is a liar but he probably believes what he says about helping riders dope actually being good for their health.