The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has named Michele Ferrari, Lance Armstrong’s long-term training guru, and Team Sky’s former doctor, Belgian Geert Leinders, in a list of 114 banned support personnel.

The 62-year-old Italian doctor was banned from working with Italian athletes in 2002 and was blocked worldwide by the United States Anti-Doping Agency case against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. USADA investigations revealed that Armstrong was given Testosterone, EPO, and blood transfusions by Michele Ferrari during the years when Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles. Later, Armstrong received a lifetime ban and was stripped of all his seven titles and later admitted to making use of banned performance enhancing drugs.

The case against Leinders was based principally on the testimony of Danish rider Michael Rasmussen and Levi Leipheimer of the United States. The two former Rabobank riders revealed the role of Leinders in doping when questioned by USADA in connection with Lance Armstrong in 2012. USADA charged Leinders with possession, trafficking and administering banned substances including testosterone, insulin, DHEA, erythropoietin, and corticosteroids. Leinders was also charged of administering blood transfusions and covering up anti-doping violations. Rasmussen admitted that Leinders provided assistance to him with blood transfusions during the 2004 and 2005 Tours de France and the 2007 Giro d’Italia. The Danish rider also said false medical certificates were written by Leinders so that he can use cortisone and also claimed that Leinders helped him dope with insulin. Leipheimer revealed the doctor assisted him dope with EPO at the 2002 and 2003 Tours de France.

The former Team Sky doctor, who worked with the Rabobank team until 2010 and as a freelance for Team Sky in 2011 and 2012, was banned for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for multiple doping violations.

Leipheimer and Rasmussen received reduced bans for their assistance with the inquiring agencies.

Some of the big names on the list are Trevor Graham and Guido Nigrelli, owner of the pharmacy at the centre of the Mantova investigation. Carlo Santuccione, who “assisted” Danilo Di Luca and Riccardo Riccò also finds a mention on the list.

WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie, said the anti-doping agency is increasingly of the belief that athletes do not dope alone, and that often there is a member of their entourage encouraging them to cheat. Sir Reedie also remarked that this new ‘Prohibited Association’ rule sends a clear message to athletes not to associate with individuals that have breached anti-doping rules as they could encourage them to cheat the system and to rob their fellow athletes of their right to clean sport.

Reedie added WADA, by publishing this list, is helping athletes know which individuals to evade if they are to avoid violating the rules themselves. The WADA President also said this list will also assist ADOs (Anti-doping Organizations) as it is their responsibility to advise their athletes of the support personnel that have ‘disqualifying status’ and the consequences of such association.

Athletes who are found working with the listed people would violate WADA’s Prohibited Association article 2.10 and face suspension.

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