Italian Anti-Doping Rrobe Surfaces
Ballan and Cunego mentioned in anti-doping investigation 35 implicated
by Patrick Lyons
Gazetta dello Sport reported today that several formerLampre riders could be
involved in a large scale involvement in doping in connection with
veterinarian Dr. Guido Nigrelli. Including Allesandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego,
Francesco Gavazzi, Mauro Santambrogio and 9 other names of Lampre have been
Alessandro Ballan, the former 2008 world champion and winner of the 2007 tour
the Flanders, now riding with BMC has acknowledged the news commenting, “I’ve
received word that the investigation into this case has been extended to 6
months”. “Everything is now in the hands of my lawyer” reports La Gazzetta dello
Several Italian media companies report that Ballan, now riding for BMC, is
one of the in of the total 35 persons (including riders, doctors and team
managers) involved in this study. Including Damiano Cunego, currently
riding for Lampre.
Ballan and Santambrogio are currently riding for the American BMC Racing
Team. The are under suspicion of violating Article 9 (the use of/or possession
of illegal narcotics) of the anti-doping law book 376/200
The investigation under the expertise of Antonino Condorelli focused on the
period from January 2008 until 31st of July 2009, but a part of the study also
expanded beyond this date. In total there are 35 suspects. Including not only
riders of Lampre but also managers, technical doctors and medical assistants.
Last weekend the houses of Alessandro Petacchi and Lorenzo Bernucci, Lampres
team doctors, Carlo Guardascione and Andrea Andreazzoli were searched for
illegal narcotics. The main lead in this case is a drugstore ownerwho is
reportedly befriended by Lampre boss Giuseppe Saronni according to La Gazzetta.
Lampre dissociate themselves from this doping
Barely a week after Lampre got their ProTour license the team has been linked to
a into a major doping investigation and potential scandal. Lampre has
dissociated of any involvement in this doping scandal in Italy, due to the
finding of Illegal narcotics in the house of rider Lorenzo Bernucci.
Lampre-Farnese Vini team responded by pullling Lorenzo Bernucci from
competition as a precautionary measure following searches by the Guardia di
Finanza of his and teammate Alessadro Petacchi's homes. The police reportedly
banned products in Bernucci's home.
Saronni insists that the team has nothing to hide. “None of our team has
behaved in an incorrect manner,” the Gazzetta dello Sport quoted. “Nigrelli has
never been an employee of ours. Lampre pays Sergio Gelati as our athletic
trainer. I would put my hand in the fire for him.” Gelati doesn’t figure on the
list of 35 names that has been leaked, however.
lead suspect- thus Gazzetta dello Sport – horse doctor Guido Nigrelli.
Who would be an acquaintance of Giuseppe Saronni. The team absolutely denies
these accusations: “We have no contact with such people, and we will start a
lawsuit in violation of our image”
Doctor Guido Nigrelli is not unknown person in the doping World. In 1999
after a search warrant they found bottles of Haemacell (blood thinners).