38 riders named in Ferrari doping investigation
Astana rider Alexandre Vinokourov is one of the riders named in La Gazetta delle Sport in relation to Dr. Michele Ferrari. Photo: Michiel Jelijs/Flickr
12.12.2014By Play the Game
The scale of doping in cycling reached new heights this week when exempts of a report based on 550 pages of evidence was leaked to Italian newspaper La Gazetta della Sport. According to the newspaper, the investigation, which has been led by the public prosecutor's office in Padova, Italy, claims that Dr. Ferrari has provided his services to cyclists and other athletes in their use of performance enhancing drugs. 38 of whom have been named and published.
The inquiry is based on an investigation nicknamed ‘Operation Mito’. ‘Mito’ translates into legend and is a name used by riders for Ferrari, who is the main subject of the investigation.
Ferrari has been banned from working with licensed riders in Italy since 2002, and in 2012 this ban turned global after USADA's Armstrong investigation.
According to the Gazetta, the report links Ferrari to cases of systematic doping on several professional teams, but most noticeably on the Astana team, where Alexandre Vinokourov allegedly had a “very close” link to Ferrari, writes velonews.com, quoting la Gazetta. Another 16 riders from the Astana team are also said to have had ties with the doctor.
The investigation was closed on Friday last week and case files are being handed over to the Italian Olympic Committee as well as the UCI, who granted the Astana team a 2015 World Tour license on Wednesday.
"We understand the file has been sent by the magistrate to CONI (Italian Olympic Committee). We have been in touch with CONI to share that information with us,” said Brian Cookson, UCI president according to the BBC.
“At the moment that will not have been taken into account by the licensing commission, so that's new. We need to see the evidence, we can't take action based on a newspaper report."
Ferrari has denied the accusations so far.