Jakob Fuglsang has been accused of training with banned doping doctor Michele Ferrari, according to an anti-doping report leaked to Danish journalists.
The report, written by Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), is 24 pages long and details intelligence linking the Danish rider to the doctor who helped Lance Armstrong to a number of his now-scrubbed Tour de France victories.
The evidence, presented to CADF and subsequently obtained by Danish newspaper Politiken (opens in new tab), indicates Ferrari was at the 2019 Vuelta a Catalunya with Fuglsang's Astana team and also that his team-mate Alexey Lutsenko was present at a meeting between Fuglsang and Ferrari in Monaco, where Fuglsang lives. However, there is currently no evidence to suggest Lutsenko was working with the doctor.
Ferrari has been banned from working in any kind of sport since 2012 after he failed to contest a charge from USADA accusing him of administering and trafficking prohibited substances.
"CADF has provided intelligence suggesting that Michele Ferrari continues to be involved in the doping of athletes at the Astana Pro Team and is believed to have travelled to Monaco and other locations to meet with the cyclists," reads the report.
Fuglsang had a successful 2019 season winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Critérium du Dauphiné and a stage of the Vuelta a España in 2019, while also finishing runner-up at Strade Bianche and Flèche Wallonne. In an interview with Danish broadcaster DR (opens in new tab) in 2018, Fuglsang said "you can win big bike races without doping".
The DR article goes on to quote a passage from his book 'Jakob Fuglsang - The dream of the rainbow stripes and the yellow jersey', which reads: "I will be able to guarantee what I did. I want to be able to see myself in the mirror, and I can now. I've never been baptized, and I'm never going to get baptized. It is important for me to say that this is my attitude towards doping."
Since news of the Ferrari allegations broke, Fuglsang's former coach Rune Larsen has said: "I hope he hasn't made the wrong choice".
"In the many years I have worked with Jakob, it has just been with the mindset that we should reach as far as possible with legal tools, even if it meant that there was something we could not achieve," Larsen told DR (opens in new tab).
As well as the leak, Politiken says they have spoken to 12 people within the cycling world who confirm that Fuglsang was allegedly spotted training with Ferrari close to Monaco. They claim the Dane was "interval training behind a scooter" with the Italian doctor.
A number of these people say one specific top cyclist told them they saw Fuglsang and Ferrari together, but that this rider is refusing to come forward despite repeated attempts to get them to speak.
The report says its task was to identify any potential links between Ferrari, his son, Stefano, and the Astana team, in particular, Jakob Fuglsang.
It accuses the father and son keep a low profile both in real life and online in order to conceal their "current doping activities". Although Stefano has been implicated in this report, he has not personally been found guilty of any doping offences in the past.
"Both Michele and Stefano Ferrari appear to deliberately keep a low profile and minimal online presence," the report reads. "Given their past legal issues and surveillance by Italian authorities, the two highly likely take extreme precaution in their current doping activities, making efforts to conceal their connections to the cyclists."
Fuglsang, Lutsenko and Astana have apparently decided not to comment on the case, while Ferrari has not responded to phone calls and texts sent by Politiken.
Politiken says they have been in contact with Fuglsang, Lutsenko and the Astana team, and following discussions all three decided not to comment on the matter, saying they "don’t want to comment on a report based on indications and rumors as there is no official message from the UCI or CADF."
The director of Anti Doping Denmark, Michael Ask, has also refused to comment on the Fuglsang investigation but has said of Ferrari: "If Ferrari really is active it is a severe breach of the regulations. Also for the people who in that potential case have helped him back into the environment and work with him. They ought to stay far away from him."
The UCI said: "As of today, the UCI has not received a report from the CADF in order to initiate proceedings against the individuals and the team mentioned. Our Federation is following this case closely and will take the appropriate measures in the interests of cycling."
Update: On the afternoon after the allegations were first published, Michele Ferrari released the following statement denying the claims made in Politiken.
"Once again I unfortunately find myself compelled to deny the latest media hoax that concerns me.
"I have not had any relationship with athletes from Team Astana for over 10 years. I haven't been to Monaco/Nice for at least 12 years. I have never been on a scooter/motorbike in my entire life, let alone motor-pacing a cyclist. I haven't been to the Vuelta Catalunya in 2019. I haven't physically been present at a single race since 1994. The "Report" is based on false reports from probable interested parties. I have no base in Lugano, a place where I have never been. I have never been convicted of doping."
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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