Michele Ferrari denies links to Jakob Fuglsang and Astana

The Italian doctor also said he has never been on a scooter in his life and so couldn't have motor-paced the Danish rider, as allegations have claimed

Michele Ferrari in 2004 (Nico Casamassima/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Michele Ferrari has responded to claims in a leaked anti-doping report that he had been seen with Jakob Fuglsang and his Astana team.

The Italian doctor was banned in 2012 from working in any kind of sport but was allegedly spotted with Astana at the 2019 Vuelta a Catalunya. Further allegations link him to Jakob Fuglsang specifically, and that he has been spotted motor-pacing the Danish climber on a training ride.

"Once again I unfortunately find myself compelled to deny the latest media hoax that concerns me," Ferrari wrote on his website, before following up with a series of statements that contradict what has been written by Politiken.

"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," Ferrari writes.

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The 66-year-old then accuses the sources behind Politiken's article as having "probable interest" in their accusations against him, before ending with: "I have never been convicted of doping."

Ferrari's life-ban from sport came after he failed to contest a 2012 charge from USADA accusing him of administering and trafficking prohibited substances.

One of Ferrari's most high-profile clients was Alexandre Vinokourov, the Kazakhstani former pro who is now the general manager of Astana and who was banned for two years in 2007 for blood doping.

In a statement released a few hours ago, Astana said they do not collaborate with any “suspicious doctor,” including Michele Ferrari, and that riders are not allowed to consult with outside doctors about their performance.

Their statement read:  "Astana Pro team has taken note of the press article by Danish and Norwegian media relating to the existence of an alleged confidential report by CADF suspecting some riders of the team to have been in contact with banned Dr Michele Ferrari.

Astana Pro Team is committed to the fight against doping in sport. The team requires from all its affiliated riders that they comply all time with all obligations under anti-doping regulations, including the prohibition to be associated with banned individuals or doctors. The team does not collaborate with any suspicious doctor, such as Dr Michele Ferrari."

According to the report, the CADF report says Fuglsang’s team-mate Alexey Lutsenko was present at a meeting between Fuglsang and Ferrari in Monaco. However, there is no evidence to suggest Lutsenko was working with the doctor.

Neither Fuglsang or Lutsenko raced the 2019 Volta a Catalunya.

Politiken also say 12 people confirmed to them that Fuglsang was allegedly spotted training with Ferrari, with one specific top cyclist telling them they saw Fuglsang and Ferrari together, but that this rider is refusing to come forward despite repeated attempts to get them to speak.

Danish broadcaster DR has quoted a passage from Fuglsang's 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 baptised, and I’m never going to get baptised. It is important for me to say that this is my attitude towards doping.”

Jakob Fuglsang and Alexey Lutsenko have decided not to comment on the case, according to Danish media.

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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.