Paolo Savoldelli banned for six months

Paolo Savoldelli has been banned for six months for his association with Dr. Michele Ferrari. He was cleared of charges that he used doping products whilst riding for Discovery Channel in 2005-2006. The anti-doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) had in March asked that the former rider be banned for up to two years and eight months.

He was also ordered to pay 350 Euros to cover the costs of the proceedings.

Savoldelli has admitted to being a client of Ferrari, telling Gazzetta dello Sport in February, "I collaborated with him in the past, but that was well-known and I didn't hide it."

It is not known what actually led to the CONI procedure. It has been rumoured that Savoldelli was one of the riders whose name was redacted out of certain documents in USADA Reasoned Decision on Lance Armstrong. Savoldelli himself guessed that it came about from comments by banned cyclist Danilo di Luca.

Savoldelli, 41, turned pro in 1996 and retired after the 2008 season. He rode for Rosslotto, Saeco, Index-Alexia Alluminio, Team Telekom, Discovery Channel, Astana and LPR Brakes-Ballan. He won the overall title in the Giro d'Italia in 2002 and 2005. Nicknamed “il falco” (the falcon), he was known for his descending skills.

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