The director of the Mapei Centre says that the training facility is no longer working with Michele Scarponi’s Lampre team. The 2011 Giro d’Italia champion and other persons associated with the team are the subject of ongoing doping investigations, although those were’t specifically cited as reasons behind the Mapei Centre’s decision.
Scarponi faces a three-month ban for his association with banned doctor Michele Ferrari, but has insisted he stopped training with him after joining Lampre for the 2011 season since the move meant he came under the supervision of the Mapei Centre.
The Mapei Centre’s director, Dr Claudio Pecci, told La Gazzetta dello Sport that while the first year working with Lampre, in 2011, had gone well, the situation had deteriorated in 2012. “There was confusion. We saw Scarponi a couple of times. That’s one of the reasons why our agreement didn’t work out. Whose fault is it? I don’t know.”
It's not entirely clear from the article, which appears in the print edition of today's newspaper, wheher those two meetings with Scarponi were over the two years, or just in 2012.
The Mapei Centre was originally founded to support the riders from the Mapei team, before moving on to work with other teams and individual riders and more recently branching out into other sports, including football.
It was set up on a strict anti-doping platform by Aldo Sassi, who died of a brain tumour in December 2010, and is credited by Cadel Evans as turning him from a mountain biker into a road cyclist who would go on to win the world championship – something Sassi was still alive to see – and the Tour de France.
Evans will still be working with the Mapei Centre, although another Grand Tour winner that has used its services in recent years won’t – Ivan Basso will now be training under the supervision of Cannondale directeur sportive, Paolo Slongo.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.