After eight months, the Italian Padova investigation into Michele Ferrari and his supposed clients is set to come to a close without any further action. According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the 550-page Padova document is to be filed away without any court referrals.
"My wrongdoing was decided by only the cycling federation with an internal measure. In November, after years, the Regional Tribunal in Lazio discussed my appeal. I have also asked for compensation,” said Ferrari.
The Padova investigation came to light towards the end of last season and linked as many as 38 current and former riders to the doctor. It also looked into how riders were using image rights contracts to avoid paying tax. The evidence produced in the document came from a series of bank accounts, wire taps and house searches. Former rider Danilo di Luca also provided information regarding the system of using image rights contracts to avoid paying tax.
T&P Sport Management in Monaco was named as the key component to this. It was estimated by the Padova files that by avoiding tax, the group generated a turnover of almost €30 million between 2010 and 2011.
Ferrari is banned from practicing and any cyclist using the Italian doctor can be handed bans – Michele Scarponi was handed a three-month ban in 2012 for using Ferrari. Scarponi’s name was one of those released by Gazzetta dello Sport late last season. Other riders named were Alexandre Vinokourov, Roman Kreuziger, di Luca, Giovanni Visconti, Filippo Pozzato, Marco Marcato, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Borut Bozic, among others.
Several names linked with the Astana team, including Vincenzo Nibali’s coach Paolo Slongo, were on the list, which came as the UCI licence commission were set to decide on whether or not to award the Kazakh team a WorldTour licence for 2015. The commission decided that the information had come too late and awarded the team a licence but looked into it once again. However, nothing came of it and the team were allowed to continue to race for the remainder of this season.
According to the report, riders such as Scarponi and Visconti who have already been handed bans can now appeal.