Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Italian 'Jab': Staring Michele Scarponi...Again.

Two days after Filippo Pozzato was brought before the Italian Olympic Committee to answer questions regarding any contact he may have had with Dr Michele Ferrari, three other Italian riders have been asked to do the same next Wednesday: Michele Scarponi and Leonardo Bertagnolli (Lampre) along with Givanni Visconti (Movistar) will face questions regarding doping doctor Ferrari as part of the ongoing Padova Investigation...

All three were subject to room searches within a week of each other in 2011 as part of the investigation, though nothing much was reported to have been found. Scarponi though has been here before. After confessing to receiving treatment from blood doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes during the now infamous Operation Puerto which in 2006/2007 saw one of the biggest exposure's in the history of professional cycling taking down a number of high profile riders, Scarponi was suspended from cycling for 15 Months.

No wonder he didn't have much to say after Alberto Contador's suspension led to Scarponi becoming the official winner of the 2011 Giro d'Italia, in fact if I remember rightly, rather than celebrating victory and condemning Contador he offered his sorrow for Contador and barely acknowledged the result, in much the same way as Andy Schleck has done with his Tour win. Trouble, though, could be on the horizon for Scarponi...

Though Pippo Pozzato now faces the prospect of a 6 month ban for admitting yesterday that he had indeed worked with Dr Ferrari (though for training plans and diet advice only) between 2005 and 2009 (which breaches the Italian Cycling Federation rule that states no sportsman or women is permitted to receive services from Dr Ferrari) as an already convicted doper, if it is found that Michele Scarponi received doping products from Ferrari after serving his Puerto ban then he will be looking at a life-long suspension.

Whats for sure is that this Italian affair is likely to spread across the globe as estimates that over 90 athletes have received services from Ferrari. Following last weeks USADA announcement regarding Lance Armstrong its fair to say its been a very troubled couple of weeks for the sport in the run up to this years Tour. With the Tour de France usually comes silly season and the odd scandal or two, I'm pretty sure this one isn't going to blow over just yet...

1 comment:

  1. Love the post's title. You're clearly aving fun with the blog! And it makes good reading.