USADA rejects Ferrari’s claim that he wasn’t notified about doping case
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

USADA rejects Ferrari’s claim that he wasn’t notified about doping case

by Shane Stokes at 8:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Agency said doctor and his wife received hand-delivered copy of charges

USADATwo days after he was handed a lifetime ban from sport, controversial doctor Michele Ferrari has claimed that he didn’t receive any official notification from the US Anti Doping Agency about a case, and disputed several elements.

“As of today, I personally have NOT received any official communication concerning a USADA case against me,” he wrote online.

“I am now learning from the media that the USADA has issued a "lifetime ban" against the undersigned, Del Moral and Martí; moreover, it appears the parties have also accepted this punishment!”

However USADA has strongly contradicted Ferrari’s claims, telling VeloNation that there is no doubt the Italian was fully aware of the case against him.

“Mr. Ferrari’s legal counsel was in communication with USADA about the case, and a copy of the charges was hand-delivered to Mr. Ferrari’s home in the presence of him and his wife,” USADA media relations manager Annie Skinner said today.

The point is relevant to the outcome of the case, in that Ferrari, Spanish doctor Luis Garcia del Moral and the Spanish coach Pepe Marti all received their bans as they didn’t respond to USADA’s charges before the deadline of last Monday.

They had been notified that they could either chose to fight those charges before an arbitration panel, or accept the lifetime sanction sought by USADA. In not replying, the trio sealed its fate as regards the second of those options.

WADA stated yesterday that it expects the sanctions to be recognised by all global bodies, and measures taken to ensure that athletes and others don’t work with the individuals concerned.

Doctor claims he’s completely innocent

Ferrari has denied several of USADA’s charges against him, saying that the statement that mixing olive oil with testosterone will facilitate or conceal the use of the substance is ‘simply risible’. He denies telling the US Postal Service team that injecting EPO intravenously rather than subcutaneously would clear quicker from the system, thus helping evade controls; speaking of the half life of the product, he said that ‘this information appears on the therapeutic indications booklet inside the package. Surely there was no need for Dr. Ferrari to advise on what everyone already knew.’

He also flat out denies the use of performance enhancing drugs. “I have NEVER witnessed any kind of doping practices taking place within the USPS team: I never went to races and at the team training camps I have attended, I was simply performing functional testing and making training programs.”

Ferrari concludes by claiming that of the witnesses who have allegedly provided testimonies, some were liars while others ‘probably are those "semi-Champions" who chose to dope, chasing dreams of glory and money or just for envy, organizing it all themselves for their own sake.’

The Italian’s denials will likely convince few people, given his history and reputation. Under Italian federation regulations, riders have been forbidden from working with Ferrari since 2002. Classic specialist Filippo Pozzato is facing a possible year ban for breaking this ruling.

In 2004 the doctor was convicted of sporting fraud and illegally acting as a pharmacist. Those rulings were dropped in 2006 due to the statute of limitations, but concerns persisted.

His opting not to contest the USADA charges means he’s now banned for life from working in the sport.

The three remaining individuals charged in the US Postal Service conspiracy case are still fighting the action. RadioShack Nissan doctor Pedro Celaya has opted for arbitration and should have a hearing between now and November, while Lance Armstrong and former team director Johan Bruyneel have requested an extension until Saturday from USADA’s deadline.

Armstrong subsequently lodged a federal appeal to try to sidestep USADA’s investigation. The agency decided this week to grant Armstrong a thirty day extension in order for that appeal to be concluded.

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