BMC Racing Team: Ballan’s withdrawal from Wallonie due to injury, not Mantova case
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

BMC Racing Team: Ballan’s withdrawal from Wallonie due to injury, not Mantova case

by Shane Stokes at 7:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Team says it has not received any official notification of Ballan’s indictment

Alessandro BallanAlessandro Ballan withdrew from the Tour de Wallonie prior to Sunday’s stage start, but his team has insisted that the Italian’s absence was due to a flare-up of a medical issue rather than his reported involvement in the Mantova doping investigation.

Ballan suffered a bad crash at the team training camp in December and, according to BMC Racing Team medical office Max Testa, his withdrawal may well be as a result of that.

“Alessandro was admitted to a local hospital early this morning for observation for abdominal pain, most likely related to his injury last winter,” he stated in a team release.

Ballan was one of 27 individuals named by La Gazzetta dello Sport this week as being officially indicted in connection to the Mantova doping case. The charge dates back to his time with the Lampre team.

According to the Italian paper, the judge overseeing the preliminary hearing has agreed with the request made by the prosecutor Antonino Condorelli to proceed with a case against riders, team staff and managers. This process is due to begin on December 10th.

However questions about whether his withdrawal from the Belgian race were linked to that investigation were dismissed by team press officer Georges Lucinger. “Regarding Alessandro's non start: he didn't start due to medical conditions,” he told VeloNation today.

As regards the Mantova links, he ruled out a suspension from racing at this point in time. “We as a team haven't been notified about anything so there is no reasons to talk about any measures.”

Ballan was previously sidelined in May 2011, as was his then-teammate Mauro Santambrogio. However the team later permitted both to return to competition as the case appeared to be in limbo.

Santambrogio has since moved to the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team. He was suspended in June when it was determined an A sample of his was positive for EPO.

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