Dr Michele Ferrari has responded to the accusations of doping and the publication of his 38 alleged clients by Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Italian newspaper claims to have seen the 550 pages of the Padova Investigation into Ferrari and a suspected doping ring that involves the Astana team and several other squads and riders. Ferrari posted a sardonic reply on his own website. Ferrari has been banned by both the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) from doping cyclists during the last two decades. He went on trail for doping and sporting fraud in Bologna in 2004 but was cleared on appeal.
"Up until now, I was convinced that the most appropriate location to answer charges was a courtroom, and for this I have never commented on the various media reports that for years published acts that should be secreted," he wrote in the blog on his website 53x12.com. "The latest press campaign orchestrated by my old pals at La Gazzetta and La Repubblica, defined even by (Italian journalist) Marco Bonarrigo as "out of control journalism", forced me to change my behaviour."
The Padova investigation dossier includes hours of phone taps and testimonies. Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday released the names of 38 of the riders listed in the document, several of which have been linked with the doctor in the past. Ferrari denied working with Marco Marcato, Dimitri Kozontchuk, Ivan Rovny, Egor Silin but did discuss some of the riders.
First to feel Ferrari’s pen was Danilo Di Luca, whose testimony to the Padova police is credited with sparking the downfall of Lance Armstrong and revealing much about Ferrari's activities. Di Luca was given a reduced ban for the testimony but then tested positive for EPO in 2013 and was handed a life-time ban.
"He knows everything, Di Luca; a shame that I neither [sic] ever met the guy," Ferrari wrote. "Mr. Danilo Di Luca I'm afraid you'll probably have to deal with other problems, to be added to the many already accumulated in your "reckless life"."
Ferrari admitted to working with Roman Kreuziger in 2007 and said that the Czech rider declined to work with him again. "Roman, if you have yet to figured it all out, your problems with the Biological Passport are simply the price to pay for having worked with me in 2007, and for later declaring that "Ferrari had prescribed me only training programs", which is the absolute truth."
"At this point, just tell it all, the Truth: how in 2010 you were privately confronted about two phone calls with myself, in which you asked about, and then declined, the possibility to resume our cooperation."
The Italian doctor also names Vincenzo Nibali’s trainer Paolo Slongo, who also worked with Nibali at Liquigas. It was reported earlier this week that Ferrari had visited an Astana training camp in 2013 and Slongo has been linked with the doctor in the La Repubblica story.
Ferrari dismisses this with a joke but hinted they perhaps met during training camps at Mount Teide. "Paolo Slongo - he would have, according to the investigators, "frequent contact with Ferrari": yes, of course, every morning, in front of the buffet breakfast at the hotel Parador del Teide, with the topic: "is it better to have eggs with bacon or muesli with yogurt?"
Ferrari signs off his lengthy blog with a reference to the report in Gazzetta dello Sport that they had pictures of Ferrari attending the camp last year. "PHOTOS OF MONTECATINI - we are all waiting so anxiously for them..."
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