Italian rider almost certain to miss Olympics
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has officially charged Filippo Pozzato with doping offences, a statement from them confirmed today. It has recommended that the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider should be banned for one year when an appointed tribunal hears the case in the coming weeks. With that date not likely to come before the London 2012 Olympics which open on July 27, Pozzato is almost certain to miss the Games. The rules state that athletes who have been charged can only compete once they have been cleared of wrongdoing.
Pozzato was questioned by CONI's anti-doping tribunal last Tuesday (June 19) over his alleged involvement with the disgraced Dr Michele Ferrari, who is banned for life from all forms of cycling following testimony against him from numerous riders concerning his modus operandi. Earlier in June Ferrari was formally charged with doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) alongside, amongst others, Lance Armstrong.
Back in 2002 the Italian Cycling Federation announced that any rider caught consulting with Ferrari would be banned for up to six months. At the initial tribunal last week, Pozzato admitted to working closely with Ferrari between 2005 and 2009 but insisted that he only sought training advice from him.
Now CONI has moved to request a formal ban, and Pozzato's Olympic ambitions - and possibly further goals down the line - look to be in tatters.