Armstrong's doctor plays down doping
Michele Ferrari remains at the centre of a doping investigation that could see him charged with conspiracy to smuggle, trade, administer and take performance-enhancing drugs, as well as tax evasion and money laundering.
However he has played down his links with Armstrong and other US cyclists in an e-book, "Cycling Pro-The Doctor Myth", published in Italy today, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
World cycling authorities on Monday stripped Armstrong of all his results since August 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins, after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said he was at the heart of the biggest doping programme in sports history.
Eleven of the dozens of witnesses who testified against him were former team-mates who saw him take banned substances and were either coerced or forced into doing likewise to remain a part of his teams.
According to Gazzetta's report, in the book Ferrari "swears he has not had a professional relationship with the American (Armstrong) since October 1, 2004. And that he never seen the American riders who have accused him".
Figure skater Carolina Kostner, the 2012 world champion and one of Italy's most popular athletes, is also mentioned in the book. She is the girlfriend of disgraced race walker Alex Schwazer.
Ferrari also played down links to Schwazer, whose career recently collapsed after he admitted using the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
The doctor is accused of parking a campervan at a motorway exit for use as a mobile consulting and testing unit for visiting athletes.
But he claims in the book that the presence of Kostner at one meeting "is proof there was no talk of doping", according to the newspaper.
There is no suggestion that Kostner has been involved in any wrongdoing but Gazzetta said she could be called to explain her presence with Ferrari to the Italian anti-doping authorities.
The USADA has already banned Ferrari for life for his role in the elaborate doping network which has led to the downfall of Armstrong.
But he is set to face fresh charges by prosecutors in Padua, who are expected to wrap up their ongoing investigation at the end of October.
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