Advised Leonardo Bertagnolli on using EPO and growth hormone - Bertagnolli has now retired

Another day, another dodgy doctor. The Italian medic Filippo Manelli has been banned from working in sport and fined 1,500 Euros following a confession from the retired cyclist Leonardo Bertagnolli that he helped him to dope using EPO and growth hormones.

Manelli, who worked out of a clinic in Brescia, was involved in advising Bertagnolli when he was riding for Saeco in 2003.

The USADA and Padua police issued a statement from Bertagnolli as part of the Lance Armstrong and USPS investigation.

It read: ""I started to take EPO on the advice of Filippo Manelli in 2003 and he told me to inject it in the skin near my groin. He told me to stop taking it a week before a race."

He said that Manelli did not alter his advice, despite Bertagnolli having a thyroid problem.

"I only took it a few times because of my problem," Bertagnolli said. "Manelli knew but still advised me to use GH. He told me what drugs to use when I visited him in his office in Gavardo. He wanted to be paid for the visits and for the drugs."

In June this year, about the same time as the USADA announced its investigation into apparent anomalies in the blood profile of Bertagnolli's biological passport, he made public his retirement from the sport.


After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.