Scarponi, Visconti and Bertagnolli summoned to appear before CONI
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Scarponi, Visconti and Bertagnolli summoned to appear before CONI

by Shane Stokes at 12:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Three more Italians accused of working with Michele Ferrari as heat increases for doctor

Michele ScarponiAfter interviewing Filippo Pozzato yesterday, the anti-doping prosecutor of Italian Olympic Committee CONI has summoned three prominent Italians to also answer questions relating to Michele Ferrari.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Michele Scarponi, Lampre-ISD team-mate Leonardo Bertagnolli and Italian road race champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) must all appear before the prosecutor on Wednesday June 27th, who is following up on media reports relating to the investigation carried out by the prosecutor of Padua. Pozzato yesterday admitted working with Ferrari, saying that he did so between 2005 and 2009 despite a clear Italian ban on sportspeople having contact with the doctor. Under Italian federation rules, he could be liable for a ban of six months; however, if CONI can prove he did more than simply take training and nutritional advice, as he claims, then he could be liable for a longer sanction.

The same will apply for Scarponi, Bertagnolli and Visconti. In fact, the first of those already served a long suspension as a result of Operacion Puerto, incurring a two year ban for working with Eufemiano Fuentes. If it can be shown that he returned from that and then received doping products from Ferrari, he is looking at a potential life ban.

Scarponi was earlier this year named as the new winner of the 2011 Giro d’Italia after Alberto Contador was disqualified. He finished fourth in this year's race.

It is suspected that Ferrari worked with approximately 90 sportspeople, both Italian and foreign. Names connected with the investigation include the aforementioned quartet of Italians and Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), plus Lance Armstrong, Denis Menchov, Alexander Kolobnev (both Katusha) and others.

La Gazzetta reported on Saturday that the long-running investigation by the Padua prosecutor Benedetto Roberti have shown the transferral of large sums of money to Ferrari, with a total of €30 million being mentioned. One payment of $465,000 was reportedly made by Armstrong in 2006.

Ferrari has also been accused of a long-running doping conspiracy relating to the US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams. USADA is pushing for a potential lifetime ban for him, Armstrong and four others. They have until Friday to respond to the charges.


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