The UCI has confirmed to Cyclingnews that they have received documentation from the relevant anti-doping authorities surrounding allegations made against Dr. Mario Zorzoli. However the sport’s governing body would not confirm how long their internal investigation would take.
The doctor was suspended from his position as the Scientific Advisor and UCI doctor after allegations arose from the anti-doping investigation into Dr Geert Leinders, who was handed a lifetime ban by a group of recognised anti-doping organisations for his role in systematic doping at the Rabobank team.
The USADA document contains statements from Michael Rasmussen, who testified that Zorzoli met with Leinders and said that "Rabobank was a team that had ‘butter on its head’", meaning no trouble would stick to the team.
It goes onto say that Leinders referred to Rasmussen as "the most protected rider in the race". Rasmussen also claimed that Leinders advised him to use the steroid DHEA (didehydroepiandrosterone) as a result of a recommendation from Zorzoli.
When the UCI received notification of Leinders’ ban and Zoroli’s possible involvement they quickly moved to suspend the doctor.
“We received the files last Friday and we’re looking into it closely but the review is still on going and we’re looking into it. We don’t know how long it will take to review the allegations,” a UCI spokesperson told Cyclingnews.
According to the spokesperson the matter is now with the UCI’s in-house legal department, which rules out any external enquiry.
“We can’t say how long it will take to review the file but Dr Zorzoli will not work in any activities whatsoever within anti-doping and he will not be in the office.”
Cyclingnews contacted Zorzoli directly. He would not comment when asked if Rasmussen’s allegations were true, only telling Cyclingnews that, “I can’t make any comment at this time. I’m sorry. I can’t answer.”