Michele Scarponi handed three month ban for working with Michele Ferrari
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Michele Scarponi handed three month ban for working with Michele Ferrari

by Ben Atkins at 3:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Suspension will be served in off season; 2011 Giro winner will be free to race again on January 1st

michele scarponiMichele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) was handed a three-month ban by the Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) anti-doping tribunal, after if found him guilty of working with notorious banned doctor Michele Ferrari. The 2011 Giro d’Italia winner, who hasn’t raced since September 8th, however, will barely notice the suspension, since it is mostly backdated to the time the CONI investigation began.

Scarponi’s suspension starts on October 1st, and ends on December 31st - in less than three weeks’ time - meaning that he is effectively only banned from cyclocross and track racing. The last three years have seen the 33-year-old start his season in late February, so he will barely notice his ban.

“I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” Scarponi - who admitted meeting with Ferrari in September 2010 - told la Gazzetta dello Sport. “I accept the verdict of three months. It was the lightest punishment, but I was hoping that they could do something less or even nothing.

“I accept this sanction and I'll be back in the new year,” added Scarponi, who has been provisionally suspended by Lampre-ISD since the investigation began, as part of the team’s code of ethics. “The ruling will not affect my next season.”

The length of Scarponi’s ban does match that of future teammate Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) for the same offence; Pozzato’s ban ran from June 19th to September 18th though, which at least caused him to miss some races.

This is the second time that Scarponi has fallen foul of CONI’s anti-doping tribunal because of working with a controversial doctor. In May 2007 he received an 18-month ban - which was later reduced to less than 15 months by the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) because of his co-operation with the authorities - for his working with Eufemiano Fuentes, as uncovered by Operación Puerto; Scarponi had the codename ‘Zapatero’ in Fuentes files.

In addition to his short suspension, Scarponi has been fined €10,000, and ordered to pay €1,000 costs.

The decision will be communicated to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI), all of whom have the right to appeal the sanction to CAS.

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