Gazzetta reveal police taps of Dr. Ferrari and Michele Scarponi

Gazzetta dello Sport has published more details of the Padua police investigation into Dr. Michele Ferrari, reporting alleged conversations between Michele Scarponi and Dr Ferrari and revealing how he secretly worked with dozens of riders.

The Italian newspaper says the Italian police bugged the camper van Dr. Ferrari used when testing riders on the Monzuno climb near Bologna or at pre-arranged secret places, capturing a conversation on September 27, 2010 between the two about the Giro d'Italia.

"(Scarponi) tells Ferrari that he could have won the Giro and Ferrari replies that if he'd had a bag, he could have had a chance," Gazzetta reports the police report as saying.

Scarponi then talks through his training programme, criticising Dr. Ferrari for mistakes he made.

"Scarponi also says that that his values are going higher and higher in April…. He asks is altitude works to stimulate and Ferrari says that he'd need three periods before the Giro, advising him Teide or Etna."

Scarponi finished fourth in the 2010 Giro d'Italia, while riding for Gianni Savio's Androni Giocattoli team. He joined the team in 2008 after completing an 18-month ban for his involvement in Operacion Puerto.

Scarponi has always denied doping but now risks a life-time ban for working with Dr Ferrari –who was banned from Italian sport in 2002. Scarponi also faces a detailed investigation by the Italian Olympic Committee.

It seems Scarponi continued to work with Dr Ferrari even in 2011, when he finished second behind Alberto Contador in the Giro d'Italia and was later named as the winner of the race following the Spaniard's doping suspension.

Scarponi's hotel room and bags were searched while training on Mount Etna in April 2011, after joining Lampre. Gazzetta claim he had secured 700,000 Euro contract with the team and is also caught up with the investigation into suspicious image rights contracts registered in Monte Carlo.

Menchov also named

Denis Menchov also appears in the Gazzetta story. The Russian stage race rider and currently team leader at Katusha is caught speaking to his agent Raimondo Scimone.

"(Menchov) wants that all the cyclists that work him are followed by Ferrari, especially Dimitri," Gazzetta report, suggesting that Dimitri indicates Dimitri Kozonchuk –who raced with Menchov at Rabobank and is currently with the RusVelo team.

On Thursday Scimone issued a statement deny any involvement in doping. However he risks being banned for the financial doping uncovered by the Padua investigation. It has revealed suspicious payments and image rights contracts that may have been transferred from Monte Carlo to Switzerland to pay Dr. Ferrari for his services.

Working with Interpol and the investigators from USADA as part of the investigation into Lance Armstrong, Padua public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti carefully followed the money and discovered a series of contracts and secret payments totaling a reported 30 million Euro.

Scimone, Dr. Ferrari and his son Stefano are under investigation in Italy for criminal association, smuggling, the sale, administering and use of doping products, tax avoidance and money laundering.

Gazzetta report that police documents claim that Ferrari "put in place a strategy to secretly follow (as a de facto team doctor) cyclists from Astana, RadioShack and many others."

"To help the two teams, under pressure from the media, he got his son Stefano to physically work with the teams, ding tests, analysis and coaching, even if he didn’t have the qualifications to do the work of his father."

Dr Ferrari has always denied doping despite being named hundreds of times in the USADA investigation evidence.


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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.