Swiss agent says he hasn't been in touch with Michele Ferrari for many years
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) — Former Swiss rider Tony Rominger has denied accusations that his management company has links to what Italian investigators believe is a network designed to finance doping, aid tax evasion and launder money.
Italian officials are investigating sports doctor Michele Ferrari’s activities in the wake of a report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which accused him of overseeing a widespread doping program involving Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong, who has been banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France wins, is said in the dossier to be Ferrari’s most famous client while at the peak of his powers as the physician worked with the Texan’s U.S. Postal Service cycling team.
Two Swiss newspapers on Monday alleged that cash from Ferrari’s operations went through through Rominger’s management company, but the former Vuelta a España winner-turned-super agent denied the claims.
“Tony Rominger formally contests these accusations of tax evasion and money laundering being reported in the media,” he said in a statement, which appeared in the newspapers carrying the allegations.
Rominger, who won three consecutive Vueltas from 1992 to 1994 and also a single Giro d’Italia title in 1995, added that he had had no contact with Ferrari for “very many years.”
He also had “never been called upon to provide information to the penal, civil or administrative judicial system — either Swiss or Italian.”
Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier this month that a large scale Italian investigation into Ferrari’s activities had opened a “Pandora’s Box” of dubious business practices involving money laundering through various European countries. Riders including Michele Scarponi and Giovanni Visconti are amongst the individuals at the center of the investigation.