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Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) is keeping a low profile in the opening week of Le Tour. And that's a good thing.
Former Giro d'Italia winner says he's not worried
Former Giro d'Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli has been summoned for questioning in Rome by the Italian Anti-Doping Procura on February 12 "following development of investigations underway for violation of the anti-doping rules".
The summons lists three possible anti-doping rule violations: 2.2: use or attempted use of a banned substance or prohibited method by an athlete and 2.8: Administration or attempted administration of banned substances or prohibited methods; and 3.2: for consulting and services from people who have been suspended."
According to a report by Gazzetta.it, USADA could have handed over evidence of Savoldelli's involvement in doping while at the Discovery Channel team and his links to Dr. Michele Ferrari.
When contacted by Cyclingnews, Savoldelli suggested that it could be related to the recent accusations that Danilo Di Luca made on Italian television.
"It'll be for the Di Luca case, we raced together (at LPR Brakes in 2008)," he told Cyclingnews. "We'll see what emerges. I just hope that they aren't trying to make a splash in the media about it."
However, Savoldelli accepted that the summons could also be related to the ongoing investigation into Dr. Ferrari in Padova that is linked to the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong, the US Postal Service team. USADA has reiterated several times that it continuing to investigate doping in professional cycling.
Savoldelli raced with Armstrong at the Discovery Channel team in 2005 and stayed with the Discovery Channel in 2006 after Armstrong retired. He also rode for Team Telekom (2003-2004) and Astana (2007) before ending his career with LPR Brakes-Ballan. He won the Giro d'Italia in 2002 and in 2005, while riding with the Discovery Channel. He also rode in the Tour de France squad that helped Armstrong win his seventh Tour de France before retiring.He has since began a successful television commentating and media career in Italy. Savoldelli has been linked to Dr. Ferrari during his career.
"It could be linked Armstrong and the Padova investigation but I'm not worried," Savoldelli conceded to Cyclingnews. "It's just a pain that I'll have to go all the way to Rome."