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Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004
“Never witnessed any doping at US Postal,” Italian doctor claims
Dr Michele Ferrari has called the USADA charges against him “false and ridiculous”. He said he learned of his lifetime ban through the media, and claimed not to have ever been notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency about the case. The Italian also denied any knowledge of coping at the US Postal Team.
“As of today, I personally have NOT received any official communication concerning a USADA case against me,” he wrote on his personal website. USADA confirmed to Cyclingnews that its filing had been delivered to all respondents either personally or to their counsel and that not replying is equivalent to accepting a life ban.
“I am now learning from the media that the USADA has issued a "lifetime ban" against the undersigned, Del Moral and Martí; moreover, it appears the parties have also accepted this punishment!”
Ferrari, along with the other two, was given a lifetime ban by USADA when they did not respond to the charges against them. They were named, along with Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and doctor Pedro Celaya, by USADA in a doping case. The latter three have indicated they would contest the charges.
“I have NEVER witnessed any kind of doping practices taking place within the USPS team: I never went to races and at the team training camps I have attended, I was simply performing functional testing and making training programs,” he said.
He also dismissed the “false and ridiculous accusations that I learned from the press and the media'” of a mixture of olive oil and testosterone, and that the knowledge that the intravenous use of EPO gave the drug a much shorter half-life. “Surely there was no need for Dr. Ferrari to advise on what everyone already knew.”
Finally he addressed the “alleged testimonies of riders,” some of whom “were infamous protagonists of unfortunate events and documented lies”, and dismissing the other as “probably ... those 'semi-Champions' who chose to dope, chasing dreams of glory and money or just for envy, organizing it all themselves for their own sake.”