By Tim Maloney, European Editor
In a decision earlier this week, an Italian Court of Appeal in Bologna absolved Dr. Michele Ferrari of the sporting fraud charges related to accusations by Filippo Simeoni, as well as charges of abusing his medical license to write prescriptions "because the facts do not exist" to support these charges.
Ferrari was the preparatore for many top cyclists, most notably Lance Armstrong. On October 1, 2004, Ferrari was convicted of sporting fraud and abusing his medical license to write prescriptions and sentenced by Judge Maurizio Passarini to suspend his medical license for one year and a fine of €900. One of Ferrari's main accusers was Simeoni, who Ferrari worked with from late 1996 to late 1997, claimed that Ferrari had given him erythropoietin (epo) and Andriol (synthetic testosterone). But the appeals court found that Simeoni's accusations against Ferrari had no basis in fact and threw out Passarini's judgement.
After the successful appeal, Ferrari's attorney Dario Bolognesi said, "We're satisfied with this verdict, but we are still awaiting the full text of the court's decision that will shed light on why they overturned the original decision, because we have requested that the previous decision is removed from Doctor Ferrari's record. And we may also sue for damages."
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