Lutsenko puts Ferrari story behind him at UAE Tour

Kazakh road race champion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) finishes third on stage 3 of the 2020 UAE Tour at Jebel Hafeet
Kazakh road race champion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) finishes third on stage 3 of the 2020 UAE Tour at Jebel Hafeet (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Alexey Lutsenko has told Cyclingnews that he is focused on racing and that he has put the allegations linking him to banned doctor Michele Ferrari behind him.

Lutsenko and his Astana teammate Jakob Fuglsang were at the centre of a leaked CADF report at the start of February that claimed both riders were alleged to have met with Ferrari, who is banned from working with athletes after his involvement with Lance Armstrong and other cases of doping discovered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).  

The report was obtained by Danish and Norwegian media and eventually confirmed by the CADF, who said it had "received information in relation to alleged potential anti-doping rule violations". However the CADF also said that "after careful review of the elements available, it has not submitted the report to the UCI for the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the individuals or team in question." 

News of the report was quickly rebuffed by Astana and both riders and the CADF have since announced that they would launch an investigation into how the report came into the public domain.

Astana's manager, Alexander Vinokourov – himself a former Ferrari client, who was also banned for blood doping, welcomed the investigation into how the report was leaked. Contact with Ferrari could have led to two-year bans for the riders.

Lutsenko was alleged to have attended a meeting with Ferrari – with the doctor also stating that the leaked report was unfounded.

Fuglsang took to Instagram in the wake of the allegations and flatly denied ever meeting Ferrari. At the same time, Lutsenko posted virtually the same message in English – a language he is not entirely fluent in – saying: "I contest that I have met with Dr Ferrari. I am not aware of any report and I can confirm no procedure has even been opened by competent anti-doping authorities against me. Accordingly, I have no case to answer. I am extremely concerned that such rumours could be spread out in the press."

At this week's UAE Tour, where Lutsenko is currently competing for the overall classification, Cyclingnews attempted to talk to the Kazakh road champion about the CADF report. 

He was asked if the situation that took place had been a distraction, but only answered the initial question before saying he would not talk more on the matter.

"For me, I'm concentrating on my season and racing. I've put it behind me," he said.

Lutsenko featured prominently on stage 3 of the UAE Tour on Tuesday, finishing third behind current race leader Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar. 

"Yates is a special climber," said Lutsenko. "I tried to respond to him when he attacked. I'm happy with my third place on the stage and on GC. I feel good. I did a lot of work before coming here with a training camp in Tiede [Spain] with my team, and then I was at the Tour de la Provence.

"I now have good feelings for here, and then for the Classics. Stage 3 was really hard. The last 10km was really hard. I tried to follow but Yates was the best climber in the peloton," he said.

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