Lance Armstrong's Former Physician Denies Doping Accusations
Lance Armstrong's former physician has denied accusations that he masterminded the doping habits of the cycling great and other riders.
Dr. Michele Ferrari was banned for life in July by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
On Wednesday, Ferrari released a statement on his website in which he denies the USADA charges and tries to discredit the testimonies of key witnesses Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Christian Vande Velde, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer and Tom Danielson.
"The false accusations that the six cyclists mentioned threw at me are ALL based on 'visual' testimonies of each of the six witnesses telling of events that concerned only me ('Dr Ferrari') and the 'witness' himself," Ferrari said. "They NEVER evoke the presence of another witness, whether between the six above, or other persons who may corroborate the veracity of their claims.
"An exception is the declaration of Landis 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."
In the statement entitled "USADA Conspiracy?" Ferrari points out that the witness affidavits were signed in September and October, months after he was banned.
Ferrari also denies claims that his professional relationship with Armstrong continued after 2005. USADA's 200-page report details more than $1 million in payments from Armstrong to Ferrari from 1996 to 2006, including payments of at least $210,000 in the two years after Armstrong claimed to have cut ties with the doctor.
"The dossier documented payments of Lance Armstrong to Health & Performance SA (a company for which I worked as a consultant) in 2005 and 2006: simply, those are delayed payments for consultancy in previous years," Ferrari said.
USADA's report also cited emails from 2009 showing Armstrong asking Ferrari's son if he could make a $25,000 cash payment the next time they saw each other.
"USADA's 'Reasoned Decision' then refers to the collaboration between Stefano Ferrari and Armstrong: Stefano, my son, was in charge of the training of Lance Armstrong, under my supervision," Ferrari said.
"As clearly demonstrated in Exhibit A by Jack Robertson, this collaboration consisted exclusively of advice on training, saddle height adjustments, aerodynamic positioning, locations for training programs and competitions: NOTHING to do with doping."
Ferrari could face criminal charges in Italy as Padua prosecutor Benedetto Roberti's long-running investigation comes to a close.