CONI pushing for one year ban for Pozzato over Michele Ferrari links
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

CONI pushing for one year ban for Pozzato over Michele Ferrari links

by Shane Stokes at 9:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
National anti doping tribunal will determine rider’s fate

Pozzato BoonenItalian Olympic Committee CONI has recommended a one year ban for Classic specialist Filippo Pozzato, who reportedly admitted last week to its anti-doping prosecutor that he worked with the controversial doctor Michele Ferrari.

Under Italian federation regulations, riders have been forbidden from working with Ferrari since 2002 and can be given bans of six months. CONI is however recommending a sanction of double that duration,

“The Office of Doping Prosecutor has ordered the referral of the athlete Filippo Pozzato (FCI) to the National Anti-Doping Tribunal of CONI for the recognition of responsibility for having made use of the advice and provision of a banned person during the period 2005-2010 and then, in a continuous and repeated manner, for violating the legal provisions during the aforementioned period, with a request for a one-year disqualification,” it announced today.

Pozzato before the anti-doping prosecutor last Tuesday June 19th and reportedly admitted he used Ferrari’s services between 2005 and 2009, then stopped when he was told it was not permitted and that he could be suspended.

He insisted that he only used Ferrari for advice on nutrition and training. Doubts were cast on this when Italian daily La Republica said that Pozzato discussed an annual fee of between €40,000 and €50,000 for the doctor’s services in an intercepted phone call dating back to mid-2009.

The sum appears extraordinarily high for training and dietary advice.

Also said to have been using Ferrari’s services were Lampre-ISD’s Michele Scarponi and Leonardo Bertagnolli plus 2011 Italian road race champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar).

Scarponi is due to ride the Tour de France and successfully requested a deferral of his hearing until after the race. Bertagnolli also got a delay, but announced his retirement yesterday, a short while before the UCI announced that he was facing a doping investigation after he showed irregular bio passport readings.

Pozzato has been competing with the Farnese Vini Selle Italia team this year. He was second in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and had hoped to represent Italy in the Olympic Games. That now looks unlikely, but is uncertain to be his number one priority any more. He’ll be focussing mainly on trying to avoid a one year ban.

Ferrari has his own battles ahead. On June 13th he was named as one of six people likely to be charged by USADA in relation to alleged widespread doping at the US Postal Service and Discovery Channel cycling teams. Investigators have reportedly uncovered evidence of huge sums of money being paid by Lance Armstrong and others to Ferrari.

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