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Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
Italian responds to CONI's call for three-month suspension
Giovanni Visconti has responded to the call by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to hand the current Movistar rider a three-month ban for his alleged relationship with banned Dr. Michele Ferrari. The Italian rider is accused of training under the guidance of the controversial doctor.
Visconti released a statement posted on his personal website, that acknowledged the request from CONI while asserting he had "done nothing wrong." The Italian Cycling Federation had previously announced they would hand up to six-month bans to any Italian athletes found to have engaged the services of Ferrari.
"I would like here to reiterate that we are talking about conversations with a trainer and emphasising that the only evidence of such contacts were my spontaneous declarations, the result of good faith and conviction of having done nothing wrong," wrote Visconti on his giovannivisconti.it.
Fellow countryman Michele Scarponi, who is currently suspended by his Lampre-ISD team has also been named in the investigation and looks to receive a short ban from competition for his involvement with Ferrari.
The proposed three-month suspension would not be the first handed down to an Italian for dealing with Ferrari. Earlier in the year Filippo Pozzato was given a three-month ban after he confessed to using the doctor between 2005 and 2009. Pozzato will join Scarponi at Lampre next season after spending the 2012 season in the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia colours.