• Cycling

Ferrari denies Armstrong doping role

ESPN staff
October 18, 2012
Lance Armstrong stood by his defence that he never failed a doping test during career © PA Photos

Michele Ferrari, the Italian doctor alleged to have been a key figure in the Lance Armstrong scandal, has denied playing any part in the American's systematic doping programmes.

Like Armstrong, Ferrari refused to contest the charges brought against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in July, but has spoken out to deny the testimonies of US riders Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson, which include him as a central figure in the scandal.

"The false accusations that the six cyclists... threw at me are all based on 'visual' testimonies of each of the six witnesses telling of events that concerned only me and the 'witness' himself," Ferrari, who was banned from working in sport for life by USADA, wrote on his website.

"They never invoke the presence of another witness, whether between the six or other persons who may corroborate the veracity of their claims. An exception is the declaration of Landis on page seven of his affidavit when he says: 'George Hincapie also had blood drawn by Dr Ferrari in my presence'. Too bad that Hincapie, in his affidavit, makes no reference to this serious charge."

Ferrari also denied being linked with Armstrong on a professional basis beyond the Texan's first retirement in 2005, but admitted that it was possible he had met, ridden with and accepted payments from him afterward, bringing his total earnings from Armstrong to more than $1 million (£620,000) between 1996 and 2006.

"I do not exclude that we may have met on the roads... but I deny that I had a professional relationship with Armstrong," Ferrari said.

"The dossier documented payments of Armstrong to Health and Performance SA [a company for which Ferrari worked as a consultant]: those are delayed payments for consultancy in previous years."

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