Dr. Michele Ferrari, the alleged doctor who provided banned substances to professional cyclists told a
reporter at online news Al Jazeera that he never provided drugs to Lance Armstrong, and never saw him or heard of him doping.
Michele (pronounced Mee-kay-ley) Ferrari has long been linked at least publicly with doping in cycling. But is there any substance to it?
“I have worked with hundreds of athletes over thirty years,” he said, and he never doped any of them. About thirty of those athletes he said have been accused of doping during that time, but Dr. Ferrari said none of them were working with him at the time.
“There is no evidence against me, there is no smoking gun,” he said, indicating that neither the US Anti-Doping Agency nor the World Anti-Doping Agency had any physical evidence that he helped any athletes dope.
In particular, he noted that while he was working with the U.S. Postal Service Team of which Lance Armstrong was the lead rider, none of the athletes ever tested positive.
Two athletes who later left the team he noted, Floyd Landis, and Tyler Hamilton, may have doped on their own. That was doping they likely “organized themselves,” he said.
When they were found to be positive, those athletes, and others who were cornered by investigators, were told to testify against Armstrong, he conjectured.
So what exactly has been his job assisting cyclists? Ferrari says he works on legal ways to enhance performance, such as training at altitude, and nutrition.
So then why has he been linked to doping in general? “Over the years I have become a convenient target and been used as a tool against Lance Armstrong.”
Armstrong he said gave up his defense in the latest USADA attacks earlier this year because he was tired of defending allegations that he said have been dogging him for 10 to 12 years, allegations that have never been proven, noted Ferrari.
The second half of the piece by Al Jazeera focused on Greg Lemond, who they said was now “one of the last truly clean leaders of the Tour.”
But they had better check their facts: when the reporter asks Lemond if he ever doped he doesn’t say no. He replies, ” I would rather not win a race than be positive.”
Well that says it all.
Greg Lemond continues to rant about how Pat McQuaid, the head of UCI should quit his post. But if Lemond is going to run, perhaps his old blood samples should be revived for retesting.