Yaroslav Popovych, Volodymyr Bileka, Alexandr Kolobnev, Vladimir Karpets, Vladimir Gusev, Mikhail Ignatiev, Roman Kreuziger; Filippo Pozzato, Lorenzo Bertagnolli, Giovanni Visconti and Franco Pellizzotti are actually just a FEW names that are being linked to the honorably dubbed "doping doctor" and are currently under investigation."
As you may already know, former "professional" road racing cyclist and World Champion, Lance Armstrong, resigned as chairman of the UCI(Union Cycliste International), due to charges from The number of cyclists being linked to the Italian sport doctor involved in the Lance Armstrong fiasco, continues to rise. Supposedly 15 riders (at the very least) are being investigated on terms of their connection to Dr. Michele Ferrari, for offenses including "tax evasion, money laundering, and of course doping. Allegedly, Dr Ferrari (who alone is under investigation in Italy for criminal association, trafficking and administering doping substances, tax evasion and money laundering) "masterminded" an operation totaling a whopping $40 million according to documents found by the prosecutor Bendetto Roberti. One of this year's Olympic champions Alexandre Vinokourov, along with Denis Menchov and Michele Scarponi are only a few of the riders that have been named for "recycling" money through South America, Monte Carlo, Gibraltar, and Switzerland.
"Roberti has been leading a sweeping investigation of Ferrari for several years, parts of which were used in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report detailing why it banned Armstrong for life and ordered him to be stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles." according to reports from nbcsports.com.
One of Armstrong's teammates, Lorenzo Bertagnolli's gave a "detailed "confession to prosecutor Roberti to reveal Dr. Ferrari's system.
"Riders and teams took advantage of their image rights contracts to limit taxes," the Gazzetta reported, "with Scimone helping them work with a company called T&F Sport Management in Monte Carlo to register the deals there and avoid tax." There was one portion of Bertagnolli's confession mentioning that said contracts were not registered with the UCI and that riders were only to pay 6 percent tax, then instructed to transfer the cash to Switzerland to use it partially for paying Dr. Ferrari.
Dr. Ferrari was previously cleared on an appeal of criminal charges for distributing certain products in 2006 to athletes that were in fact, banned; however NBC sports reports that the "doping doctor" had been banned for life by the Italian Cycling Federation in 2002.
You would think that something would click in these athletes (and I use that term LOOSELY and not just for cyclists) heads that hmmm.... this doctor has already been under the microscope, should I seek out other options. Not to say that they could possibly get away with it if they took another route; but if it were't Dr. Ferrari it would defintely be someone else.
This thing has very much become about the politics of the issue; it's the money. For some, when you place the right dollar amount on it, certain individuals lose all sense of dignity, pride, integrity and honor.
Supposedly investigators went as far as to place hidden microphones in the van that Dr. Ferrari used to meet with cyclists in remote areas of Italy and in Switzerland, the Gazzetta said. The newspaper printed a phone-tap conversation between Michele Scarponi and Dr. Ferrari inside the van in September 2010 during which the rider said he could win the following year's Giro and the physician replied that if he used a blood transfusion he had a chance.
Geesh! This gets me to thinking about one's self esteem. Are you that easily persuaded?? I would have been offended if someone thought so little of myself and my craft, that they would offer me any type of enhancements! An honorable athlete of any stature with any amount of integrity would have laughed assuming it were a joke! Scarponi finished second in the 2011 Giro (is that the best enhancers can do?) but then was bumped up to champion when Alberto Contador was stripped of the title for doping at the 2010 Tour de France.
On Friday, Rabobank announced that they will be with-drawing their long sponsorship of professional cycling, saying "the trust in the cycling world has gone."
Well, we've got to start somewhere. Let's get back to honorable sports!
Your Jersey Girlfriend,