Michele Scarponi reportedly facing six-month ban for links with Dr Michele Ferrari

2011 Giro winner to face prosecutors next Wednesday as Padua doping enquiry reaches key stage

by Simon_MacMichael   June 21, 2012  

Michele Scarponi, Giro 2011 (picture Gian Mattia D'Alberto, LaPresse, RCS Sport)

Michele Scarponi, awarded the 2011 Giro d’Italia title after Alberto Contador was stripped of it earlier this year, could himself face a six-month suspension for allegedly consulting with sports doctor Michele Ferrari as the ongoing Padova-based enquiry into doping reaches a key stage. The potential penalty is one stipulated by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) for any rider licensed by it caught associating with Ferrari after it banned him from any involvement in sport in 2002.

Scarponi, who missed out on a podium place in this year’s Giro due to Thomas De Gendt’s heroics on the final weekend, is one of three riders summoned by Coni to answer questions next Wednesday about their contact with the doctor, the others being three-time Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti of Movistar and Scarponi’s Lampre-ISD team mate, Leonardo Bertagnolli, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Last week it emerged that Filippo Pozzato, formerly with Katusha and now at Farese Vini, had admitted following training plans devised in consultation with Ferrari between 2004 and 2009, although the rider denied having used any doping products and said that he ended the relationship when he realised he might be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

The Padova investigation has been led by public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti, who together with law enforcement officials from the Guardia di Finanza and Carabinieri has spent the past two years sifting through intercepted telephone calls and emails as well as Swiss bank accounts in an effort to unravel details of the suspected doping ring.

As part of their enquiries, Scarponi’s house was searched in April 2011 while he was on Sicily preparing for the Mount Etna stage of that year’s Giro; the rider had previously been banned for 18 months after admitting his involvement in Operacion Puerto, the Spanish case centred around another sports doctor, the Spaniard Eufemiano Fuentes.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the 32-year-old visited Ferrari twice for tests in September 2010, when he was riding for Androni Giocattoli; the newspaper adds that he ceased contact with the doctor when he joined Lampre at the end of that year. Since then, in common with his team mates, his race preparation has been conducted by the Centro Mapei.

The Gazzetta adds that other riders potentially implicated in the Padova investigation include former Giro and Vuelta winner Denis Menchov and world championship and Olympic medallist Alexander Kolobnev, both now with Katusha.

The Russia-registered team’s Italian base was searched last year – Menchov was riding for the now-defunct Geox TMC at the time – while Kolobnev, who failed a drugs test at last year’s Tour de France while racing for Katusha, rejoined the team this year after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected an appeal from the UCI against the Russian Federation’s decision not to ban him, on the grounds that the over-the-counter medicine in question had been recommended by his doctor.

Ferrari was himself charged last week by the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) along with Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and others in connection with what is alleged to have been a “massive doping conspirancy,” and it is believed that those involved with the Padua enquiry have been exchanging information with their counterparts in the United States.

11 user comments

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Ferrari again? ffs. if this carries on eventually i will get declared the winner of the 2011 Giro.

in case wada usda coni or acme are reading this i havent been involved with doctor Ferari but i did see Dr Patel about trapped wind in 2007.

posted by russyparkin [578 posts]
21st June 2012 - 19:54



Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
21st June 2012 - 20:14


I passed Michele Ferrari in the street once... kind of worried about my 2009, 3rd place podium at the 'Middle of Nowhere Backwater Super Sprint Duathlon' now.

Philx's picture

posted by Philx [37 posts]
21st June 2012 - 21:02


russyparkin wrote:
Ferrari again? ffs. if this carries on eventually i will get declared the winner of the 2011 Giro.

in case wada usda coni or acme are reading this i havent been involved with doctor Ferari but i did see Dr Patel about trapped wind in 2007.

You just used his name on an internet forum. A clear link between the two of you, I'd say. All your results are now invalid, and you are hereby banned from future competitions.

Oh crap, I just quoted you... now I'm banned too. Crying

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
21st June 2012 - 22:05


Dr Ferrari has a great website; surely you are not telling me that consulting this could get me banned? And no it does not tell you what 'medication' to take to improve your 'breathing' or 'lack of strength' in your legs.

posted by SideBurn [912 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 7:58


I just googled his name and ended up at a training website called http://www.53x12.com, which he seems to write for, and found this, explicitly stated as written by him:

"While the same day Pat McQuaid certified in an interview Sky and Liquigas as examples to follow, it is curious to observe how the two teams have trained at altitude in the area (Teide) that the UCI repeatedly cited as suspicious (see article 53x12.com, Dec. 3rd 2010)."


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3704 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 9:31


He does more than write for it, it's his website.

This seems to be the article he's referring to:


so the inference presumably is that because some dodgy cyclists in black once trained on a mountain, anyone training on that mountain, even in team kit and with the team inviting the press over to have a look, is guilty by association?

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9364 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 10:44


Ferrari is clearly bitter about being banned from the sport he was such a blight on. I've no doubt he knows a hell of a lot about legal training methods but it's not like there aren't alternative sources of that information - anyone dumb enough to work with him is well deserving of six months out...

posted by step-hent [716 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 11:39


Yes, Si. I think that's the inference.

If you dissect statements by Ferrari [and LA], they are riddled with signs of a pathological liar. They are full of straw man, non sequitur, and ad hominem attacks.

posted by Matt_S [226 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 11:48


Ever since I clapped eyes on Scarponi, I just knew he's dodgy. An associate of Fuentes and Ferrari, I believe he also enjoys Spanish beef, has a Festina watch and takes holidays in Mexico with Michael Rasmussen.


A right Arthur Daley!


posted by arrieredupeleton [586 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 14:58


Well, tail winds do give you an unfair advantage, while also penalising the rider behind you (that's if there is anyone). Big Grin

Gerard the Kiwi

GerardR's picture

posted by GerardR [93 posts]
23rd June 2012 - 2:39