Michele Ferrari On His Defense

Michele Ferrari, the notorious Italian physician banned for life by the U.S anti-doping agency, has offered his defense while denying charges of doping links and said he never saw the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong dope.

The name of the doctor is out there as the one whose doping techniques were used by Lance Armstrong and his teammates to dominate cycling with seven Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005. The United States anti-doping agency in its report against Armstrong and others named Michele Ferrari 480 times in their damning 200-page dossier on doping.

Eleven of the former teammates of Armstrong at the US Postal team gave witness testimonies to USADA and the document includes the line that doctor Ferrari was present and assisted during instances of prohibited blood doping and EPO use by USPS team members. The US Anti-Doping Agency gave lifetime bans to three of the six men named in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy case. Luis Garcia del Moral and Michele Ferrari who worked with Armstrong during his seven-year Tour de France reign and trainer Jose “Pepe” Marti worked with the rider’s US Postal Service team all received lifetime bans. The two other alleged conspirators, another doctor Pedro Celaya and former team boss Johann Bruyneel, had either requested a five-day extension to respond to the charges or asked for a full arbitration hearing to begin. The United States Anti-Doping Agency made a statement saying permanently banning these individuals from sport is a powerful statement that protects the current and next generation of athletes from their influence, and preserves the integrity of future competition.

The doctor has previously denied having a professional relationship with the 41-year-old Armstrong after 2005 but admitted to meeting and accepting payments from Lance Armstrong between 1996 and 2006 – totalling around $1m (£619,000), according to USADA. Ferrari dismissed key witness statements in October as “false accusations” and uncorroborated “visual testimony”. The cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and given a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, a decision that was later ratified by the UCI.

The woes of Ferrari don’t end here; the doctor is also subjected to an ongoing two and a half year doping investigation, in a different case, in his home region of Padua.

In an interview, Ferrari said that he has never seen any doping practice from Lance Armstrong and he has also not heard something like doping related to Lance Armstrong. He further added that Armstrong never asked him for information about doping and the USADA picked him as the Federal Investigation was able to demonstrate their doping practice, and to save themselves the witnesses agreed with the USADA conspiracy and added that there is no evidence, no smoking gun about the investigations. He added that his job is to advise athletes on the best way to train and propose to these athletes alternatives, perfectly legal alternatives, to the use of doping substances like high altitude training for instance rather than using Erythroprotein (EPO) but, not only this also the use of nutrition in a targeted way.

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