Leipheimer claims Australian attended Tenerife training camps
Amidst the fallout of USADA’s reasoned decision and sworn affidavits is the claim by Levi Leipheimer that Michael Rogers attended multiple altitude training camps in 2005 alongside fellow clients of Dr. Michele Ferrari. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Rogers’ relationship with Ferrari ended in mid 2006 under the instruction of his T-Mobile Team and has since had zero communication with the banned doctor.
Rogers previously stated he worked with Ferrari from 2005 and severed ties shortly after recording his best result at the 2006 Tour de France where he finished in 9th overall. At the time Rogers said he worked with the Ferrari because "he is the best coach in the world," according to the Sydney Morning Herald. However, his team encouraged him to cease contact shortly after the completion of that year’s Tour.
"He has made some mistakes, and I think he has learnt from them. But with me, he never mentioned anything of that [drugs]. It was just hard work and training," stated Rogers at the time according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I have nothing to hide, I am glad you asked. It gets it out there. I have complete transparency," Rogers said.
Rogers has since spoken to the media in regard to his relationship with Ferrari however there has been no response to Leipheimer’s claims regarding past training camps in which Andrey Kashechkin, Alexandre Vinkourov, Paolo Savoldelli, Yaroslav Popovych and Eddy Mazzoleni reportedly attended.
"When T-Mobile asked me to sever my ties with Dr Ferrari I obviously cut them," he told the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday. "I haven't got anything to add. I was very transparent. We came forward to the press and told them my position. Since [then] I have had absolutely no contact with Ferrari whatsoever."
Sky’s Dave Brailsford expressed his disappointment following Rogers' teammate Michael Barry’s admittance and lies about doping during his career however, Rogers’ past links with Ferrari were already known. Brailsford has emphasised the team’s strong zero tolerance policy towards doping and riders with a past history although Rogers has remained firm on his position that his association with Ferrari was strictly for training programs.
"I didn't really get that much out of it," he said to the Sydney Morning Herald. What can I say? It was an error to go to him. He didn't have the best name in the industry, but that was the mistake I made... I certainly regret [it]. I can understand it tainted, maybe, my reputation; but it's an error I made. I have to accept that."
"But I can absolutely guarantee it was only [for training]... he hardly had time for me.
"He had a lot of riders. I wasn't really that happy even with the amount of time I got," he said