Pozzato gets three month ban and €10,000 fine for working with Ferrari
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pozzato gets three month ban and €10,000 fine for working with Ferrari

by Shane Stokes at 9:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Partially backdated suspension sees rider back in one week

Filippo PozzatoSidelined Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider Filippo Pozzato will be able to return to racing in one week’s time, with the Italian National Anti-Doping Tribunal ruling today that he must serve a three month ban for working with banned doctor Michelle Ferrari. The suspension is backdated, giving him just seven more days to sit out.

Italian Olympic Committee CONI originally stated in June that it wanted a one year ban for the Classic specialist, double the recommended six month ban which has been in place since 2002. It said then that he, “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.”

He appeared before the anti-doping prosecutor on June 19th and reportedly admitted he used Ferrari’s services between 2005 and 2009, then said he stopped when he was told it was not permitted and that he risked suspension.

Pozzato insisted then that he only used Ferrari for advice on nutrition and training, but 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.

However CONI’s leverage for a long ban was weakened when it emerged that the Italian cycling federation may have made an embarrassing oversight. Its list of suspended persons no longer listed the doctor as blocked, an avenue Pozzato’s legal representatives were thought likely to pursue.

In addition to the three month ban, which was applied from June 19th to September 18th, the Italian National Anti-Doping Tribunal ruled today that Pozzato must pay a fine of 10,000 euro plus 2,000 euro legal costs.

He was not named to the Italian national team for the world championships, which was announced today.

Ferrari has worked with many riders in the sport, beginning his collaboration with Lance Armstrong in the mid-nineties when Eddy Merckx recommended that the American should begin seeing him. Merckx’s son Axel had been trained by him at the time.

The collaboration stopped when Armstrong contracted cancer but then resumed when he returned to competition, remaining in place when he clocked up his run of Tour wins. There are also indications that Armstrong continued to work with him after he returned in 2009, although the Texan said their contacts were of a personal nature only.

Both Ferrari and Armstrong have been handed lifetime bans by USADA, with the latter also losing all of his competitive results since August 1998. The ruling was made after Armstrong surprisingly indicated he would not fight the charges against him in arbitration.

The UCI and WADA are currently awaiting the requested ‘reasoned decision’ from USADA, which will include much of the evidence. The UCI has indicated that it is unlikely to appeal the sanction.


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