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Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004
Italian doctor claims huge Armstrong payments were for consultancy work
Dr. Michele Ferrari has hit back at accusations that he masterminded Lance Armstrong’s doping regime and that of many other riders during the last 20 years.
Writing on his coaching website 53x12.com, under a title of “USADA Conspiracy?” Ferrari denies the hundreds of accusations in the USADA investigation documents and claims he has not had a fair trial.
He claims he has never received any communication from USADA and pointed out that he was banned for life on July 10, a date before the USADA witness affidavits were signed.
Ferrari discredits the testimony of Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Christian Vande Velde, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer and Tom Danielson, saying they are “based on visual" testimonies of each of the six witnesses telling of events that concerned only me ("Dr Ferrari") and the "witness" himself. "They NEVER evoke the presence of another witness, whether between the six above, or other persons who may corroborate the veracity of their claims.”
The hundreds of pages of evidence against Ferrari include details of payments to a Swiss bank account. Armstrong’s payments total over one million dollars between 1996 and 2006, with annual payments of between $75,000 and $110,000 but Ferrari claims they are for consultancy work.
“The dossier documented payments of Lance Armstrong to Health & Performance SA (a company for which I worked as a consultant) in 2005 and 2006: simply, those are delayed payments for consultancy in previous years,” his comment on the website reads.
Armstrong nicknamed Dr. Ferrari ‘Schumi’, often using the name in email correspondence with Ferrari’s son Stefano after 2005, after the Texan claimed to have cut all formal ties with the Italian doctor.
Ferrari claims that Armstrong was a simple client of the 53x12.com coaching website after 2005.
“Stefano, my son, who administers the 53x12.com website offering online training advice to athletes, was in charge of the training of Lance Armstrong, under my supervision, as is the case with all his customers.” Ferrari writes.
“As clearly demonstrated in Exhibit A by Jack Robertson, this collaboration consisted exclusively of advice on training, saddle height adjustments, aerodynamic positioning, locations for training programs and competitions: NOTHING to do with doping.”
Ferrari ends his statement by accusing the American riders based in Girona of organising their own doping system without his involvement.
“I never met Michael Barry, but it is clear from his testimony of the joint involvement of some riders (Vande Velde, Vaughters, Barry, Landis, Hincapie and others) in an exchange of doping products, within shared apartments, piling up used syringes and empty ampoules under their beds.” Ferrari writes.
“This is about those Americans riders who lived in Girona and clearly organized and ran their own doping practices and trafficking of substances (by their own declarations). I never knew anything about all this, nor there is any objective evidence of my involvement.”