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Cycling’s top stars to appear at Ferrari case

Some of the world's leading cyclists have been slated to appear as witnesses in the trial of Doctor Michele Ferrari, which began in Bologna, Italy, Wednesday. Ferrari is facing allegations of administering harmful substances, abusing his profession, trading in banned dietary supplements and sporting fraud. If convicted, Ferrari faces a prison sentence, but the anticipated revelations from some of the stars of the peloton could add another unsavory chapter to cycling’s struggle against doping problems. Former Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Gotti, Tony Rominger, Claudio Chiappucci,

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By VeloNews Interactive , Copyright AFP 2001

Some of the world’s leading cyclists have been slated to appear as witnesses in the trial of Doctor Michele Ferrari, which began in Bologna, Italy, Wednesday. Ferrari is facing allegations of administering harmful substances, abusing his profession, trading in banned dietary supplements and sporting fraud.

If convicted, Ferrari faces a prison sentence, but the anticipated revelations from some of the stars of the peloton could add another unsavory chapter to cycling’s struggle against doping problems.

Former Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Gotti, Tony Rominger, Claudio Chiappucci, Abraham Olano, Gianni Faresin, Gianluca Bortolami and Axel Merckx are just some of the riders due to give evidence. Presiding judge Maurizio Passarini rejected a move by Ferrari’s lawyer Dario Bolognesi to halt the case because of jurisdiction — the case is actually based in Ferrara but is being heard in Bologna because of a heavy workload in Ferrara’s courts. Prosecutor Giovanni Spinosa outlined evidence he says points to Ferrari’s guilt.

Ferrari has been involved with three-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. The U.S. Postal team leader is not involved in this court case but admitted during this year’s Tour to “limited but periodic collaboration” with Ferrari over a six-year period.