The shamed doping doctor Michele Ferrari, who is banned from working in sport for life following his part in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, has spoken out in Lance Armstrong's defence.
Speaking to the Al Jazeera news channel, Ferrari said: "''I can say I've never seen, I never heard something about that. He never asked me for information about doping.'
''I've never seen any doping practice from Lance Armstrong.''
Ferrari is widely considered to have been at the forefront of the systematic doping that dogged professional cycling for decades, and numerous riders who gave evidence to the UCI as part of its damning report into Lance Armstrong admitted working with him, including Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and George Hincapie
But Ferrari downplayed these connections too, saying: "My relationship with some teammates of Lance Armstrong was very, very short and occasional. It was not strict."
''There are six riders that accused me, but these riders, I didn't have any relationship, any consulting with these guys. What I can say about the USADA investigation is that there is no evidence, in particular no evidence against me.''
The USADA alleges that Armstrong paid Ferrari around $1 million between 1996 and 2006.
Ferrari added that he was considering taking legal action to contest his ban from working in the sport.
Click here to view the video interview in full.
<p>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.</p>