Italian professional and 2008 road race world champion Alessandro Ballan has been sacked by the BMC Racing Team after being served a two-year ban from competition on doping charges.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) heard the evidence against Ballan this week and handed him a two-year suspension on Friday for violating the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code for the use or attempted use of banned substances. BMC reacted by terminating his contract.

“In accordance with the BMC Racing Team’s strict anti-doping policy, Ballan is no longer a member of the BMC Racing Team, said president/general manager Jim Ochowicz,” read a brief statement issued by BMC on Friday. 

Ballan had been investigated as part of the Mantova operation centred on the activities of his former Lampre team. He had been accused of taking a blood transfusion at the Montichiari clinic of physician Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi in 2009. Bonazzi was handed a four-year ban by CONI – less than the expected seven-year suspension – whilst pharmacist Guido Nigrelli was banned from being involved in cycling for life.

Ballan had previously been suspended by BMC whilst he was being investigated on two occasions, missing Paris-Roubaix in 2010 and the Giro d’Italia in 2011. In addition to the 2008 world title, he took several high-profile victories including the Tour of Flanders in 2007 and a stage of the Vuelta a Espana in 2008.

Now the 34-year-old faces the end of his career with no team and a tarnished reputation.

  • tony m

    Another one of the old guard who won’t be missed!!

  • Colnago dave

    What I find incredible that if you believe Ballan the ozone treatment was due to health reasons and sanctioned by a doctor after he had been diagnosed as requiring this treatment how WADA are able to ban him. This sounds like WADA are putting themselves above physicians.
    I do not condone drugs in sport but WADA & UCI reasoning never seems to be logical.
    If you go to China and eat contaminated meat and fail a drug test you are guilty but can WADA tell me how you check for it ?
    Look at tennis which also comes under WADA and how many tests are carried out in a year- virtually none. Tim Henman was asked on air how they recovered and he stated they were hooked up to intravenous drips, try that as a cyclist.
    A world class footballer was only able to go on the pitch after 2 large whisky’s to calm him, is this not drugs ?

  • Terry

    Was a sacking ever in doubt- I hope not !

  • Animal

    He committed the sackable offence of getting caught.