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TURIN, Italy (AFP) — Former Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) faces a three-month ban, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said Tuesday, for infringing on rules against consulting prohibited persons.
Scarponi is one of several athletes alleged to have consulted with Michele Ferrari, the doctor at the center of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
Ferrari is one of several individuals under investigation by prosecutors in Padua, Italy, who have accused him of being at the center of a sophisticated doping network involving athletes, sports agents and corrupt banking officials.
CONI confirmed in a statement Tuesday that Scarponi, who inherited his 2011 Giro title from Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), as well as fellow Italian professional Giovanni Visconti of the Movistar team, “faced three month bans for consulting with prohibited persons.”
The statement added that Scarponi had already been “suspended by his team after admitting in a CONI hearing on November 6 that he had met with Ferrari a couple of times.”
Former Milan-San Remo champion Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) also received a similar ban earlier this year which deprived him of a place at the Olympic Games and later the world championships in Valkenberg, Netherlands.
CONI added that three-time Italian champion Visconti, meanwhile, has “always denied having met with prohibited persons.”