Italian Cyclist Receives Doping Suspension

The 2008 world road race champion, Italy’s @Alessandro Ballan, has received a doping ban of two years from Italy’s Olympic Committee (CONI). The Italian’s BMC Racing team announced soon after the verdict that it had terminated its contract of Ballan.

The 2008 world road champion was banned for two years by the Italian Olympic Committee for using ozone treatment in 2009. Ballan claimed he used the ozone treatment for cytomegalovirus when he was ill and it was not to improve his cycling performance. Ballan’s name figured in the Mantova-based doping investigation that was centered on his former Lampre team. According to phone taps from investigators, the cyclist had undergone a blood transfusion in the spring of 2009, which was his final season at the Lampre team before he joined BMC.

In a release, team president Jim Ochowicz said Ballan received a two-year suspension from CONI Friday for charges in connection with his former team. He added that Ballan is no longer a member of the BMC Racing Team in accordance with the BMC Racing Team’s strict anti-doping policy. A BMC statement revealed that it is terminating the contract of Alessandro Ballan who received a two-year suspension from CONI for charges in connection with his former team.

CONI’s anti-doping tribunal ruled that Ballan had contravened article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code relating to the use or attempted use of banned substances. According to a statement by CONI, Ballan received a suspension of two years with effect from January 17, 2014 until January 16, 2016 and has also been condemned to pay the costs of this proceeding, estimated at 400 euros and was also asked to pay a fine of 2,000 euros.

The Italian cyclist was suspected to being involved in a doping affair that also implicated two doctors, Guido Nigrelli and Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi, who have aided Ballan’s attempt to procure and use banned substances. CONI banned Nigrelli for life and Bonazzi for four years. According to the CONI statement, Nigrelli was punished under article 2.7 and 2.8 of the World Ant-Doping code and has ordered him to be banned from practicing for life from January 17, 2014 while Bonazzi has been sanctioned for a period of four years, from January 17, 2014 until January 16, 2018.

Previously, Ballan was suspended by BMC Racing because of doping allegations but the cyclist resumed racing after being cleared by the Swiss-American team. Ballan won the Tour of Flanders in 2007 and the road race at the 2008 worlds in Varese.

Meanwhile, Australian cycling star Cadel Evans has defended former BMC teammate Ballan. Evans said he does not know all the details and so on but the only thing that appears to him is it must really be the only profession in the world that for looking after your health and trying to be healthy, you can ruin your career and ruin your whole life. The Australian cycling star said Ballan was trying to treat his health as far as he can understand.

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