Padua investigation reveals he advised Bertagnolli on EPO use
The Italian anti-doping tribunal has banned Italian doctor Filippo Manelli for life after evidence from the Padua police and USADA investigation revealed he advised Leonardo Bertagnolli on the use of EPO and growth hormones.
Under the WADA code, Dr. Manelli can no longer work in sport or attend events. He was also fined 1500 Euro.
According to an Italian police statement published by USADA as part of the documents released with the Reasoned Decision on the US Postal Service investigation, Bertagnolli said that the Brescia-based doctor advised him how to take EPO in 2003.
"I started to take EPO on the advice of Filippo Manelli in 2003 and he told me to inject it in the skin near my groin. He told me to stop taking it a week before a race," Bertagnolli's statement reads.
Bertagnolli had a thyroid problem but Manelli reportedly told him to use the growth hormone Geref.
"… I only took it a few times because of my problem. Manelli knew but still advised me to use GH. He told me what drugs to use when I visited him in his office in Gavardo. He wanted to be paid for the visits and for the drugs."
Bertagnolli said he visited Manelli between 2003 and 2006 before opting to work with Dr Michele Ferrari – who is at the centre of the Padua investigation.
Ferrari has always denied doping but was accused of working with numerous riders from the US Postal Service team and was banned for life by USADA.
The Padua investigation is expected to be wrapped up in December but the police have so far refused to hand over evidence to the Italian anti-doping investigators.
The Italian anti-doping investigators have called for three-month bans for Michele Scarponi and Giovanni Visconti for working with Dr. Ferrari. Other riders risk similar bans.
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