Pozzato risks six-month ban after reported admission to working with Michele Ferrari
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pozzato risks six-month ban after reported admission to working with Michele Ferrari

by VeloNation Press at 11:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Training and nutritional advice, but at €40,000 charge per year?

PozzatoSeven years after he was fined €3000 for intimidating Filippo Simeoni in the 2004 Tour de France over the latter’s criticism of Michele Ferrari, Filippo Pozzato is facing a possible six month ban from the sport. The Farnese Vini – Selle Italia rider appeared yesterday before the anti-doping prosecutor of Italian Olympic Committee CONI and reportedly admitted working with the controversial doctor.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, he said that he went to Ferrari between 2005 to 2009. “They told me that it was not allowed and that I risked being suspended,” he said, explaining that he had stopped the association. He is claiming that he only used Ferrari for advice on nutrition and training.

However on Saturday Italian daily La Republica said that in intercepted phonecall from mid-2009, Pozzato was said to have discussed an annual fee of between €40,000 and €50,000 for the doctor’s services. The amount seems extraordinary for advice only, and will be weighed up by CONI as potentially relating to more serious interaction.

Whether or not he accepted doping products, Pozzato could be facing a ban anyway. Three years before he said he started that collaboration, Italian riders were banned from working with Ferrari and told they would face a six month suspension if they broke the ruling.

Ferrari has long been suspected of supplying banned products to cyclists and other sports people.

Former client Simeoni gave evidence to that effect and because of his opposition to the doctor, was chased down by Lance Armstrong – who used the doctor’s services – on stage 18 of the 2004 Tour de France.

When he returned to the peloton, Pozzato, Giuseppe Guerini and other riders abused him verbally.

Now, almost a decade later, Pozzato could miss out on his goal of competing in the Olympics as a result of the latest investigation. His sole hope is that his legal team can successfully argue that the ban on Ferrari has expired. If that isn’t successful, he may have ridden his last race of 2012 and, if CONI proves he did more than take advice, he could be out for far longer.

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