"WADA is increasingly of the belief that athletes do not dope alone" says anti-doping organisation as it lists banned sports personnel


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) named Michele Ferrari, Lance Armstrong‘s long-term training guru, in a list of 114 banned support personnel it published on Monday. An association with those named on the list by athletes – even if not caught doping – can lead to a suspension.

The 62-year-old Italian was banned from working with athletes in his own country in 2002 and blocked worldwide in the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) case against Armstrong in 2012.

The agency’s work showed Ferrari helped Armstrong with EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions during the years he became a Tour de France star. Armstrong lost it all, however, after the case ended. He received a life-time ban and was stripped of his seven Tour titles.

The Program, a film about Ferrari and Armstrong, is out October 16.

“WADA is increasingly of the belief that athletes do not dope alone, and that often there is a member of their entourage encouraging them to cheat,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie.

>>> The Ferrari system uncovered

“This new ‘Prohibited Association’ rule sends a clear message to athletes: do not associate with individuals that have breached anti-doping rules as they could encourage you to cheat the system and to rob your fellow athletes of their right to clean sport.”

Lance Armstrong

Dr Michele Ferrari assisted Lance Armstrong during the American’s professional cycling career

In Italy, Ferrari’s clients – from Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) to Michele Scarponi (Astana) – served bans over the past years simply based on their association with the man known as ‘Doctor Evil’.

On the list published, which WADA said that it will continually update, 61 are Italian. Philip Tinklin is the only Briton named. The father of five boxers received a life-time ban for steroid trafficking.

Sky’s former doctor, Belgian Geert Leinders is on the list and banned for life for his work in previous teams.

>>> David Brailsford on Geert Leinders, and why telling the truth is only part of the process

Among the Italians are Guido Nigrelli, owner of the pharmacy at the centre of the Mantova investigation that brought a ban for former world champion Alessandro Ballan, and Carlo Santuccione, who ‘helped’ Danilo Di Luca and Riccardo Riccò and received a life-time ban in the Oil for Drugs case.

Working with the listed people violates WADA’s Prohibited Association article 2.10.

“By publishing this list, WADA is helping athletes know which individuals to evade if they are to avoid violating the rules themselves.

“This list will also assist ADOs (Anti-doping Organisations) as it is their responsibility to advise their athletes of the support personnel that have ‘disqualifying status’ and the consequences of such association.”

WADA published the full list and a related article on its website.

  • Bob

    WADA make the right noises but very little seems to change for the better – good at soundbites – short on long term solutions

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Its no different today no matter what the riders say the only difference is the at the moment the team doctors are too good for the testers.

  • FPCyclist

    I, like many of you, have been following the Lance Strongarm Follies since the saddle sore cream episode in 1999 (I knew something stunk with the first whiff too). I’m still interested when a story like this comes out, BUT, I’m beginning to feel a bit of fatigue over all this endless nonsense. I wish they’d all just go away for good…that includes low level dummies like Vino and Hincapie too. Had enough of all of them.

  • bjkjoseph .

    Usain Bolt is the lance armstrong of sprinters..but he lives in jamaica and may never be caught.

  • FPCyclist

    ‘Cause it makes the ‘eadline, mate!

  • Nigel Rue

    I bet Cookson hopes Vinokourov is put on the list. Because that’s the only way he is going to get rid of Astana as a World Tour Team!

  • ummm…

    Nice show of force from WADA. Does this eradicate doping? No. Just have to find that next crop of accomplices. Nice little bit of drama for the late season tho.

  • Ryan Bolin

    Why say its armstrongs doping guru? Ferrari helped tons of athletes cheat!