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Dr Ferrari and Astana issue statements denying Fuglsang link

Both parties have rebutted claims made in the Danish press that Fuglsang had been using banned doctor

Joe Robinson
3 Feb 2020

Astana and Dr Michele Ferrari have both issued separate statements denying reports that Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang has been working with the banned doctor.

On Sunday evening, Danish newspaper Politiken published a story after obtaining an independent report from Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) that claimed Fuglsang had been working with Ferrari throughout 2019.

It also claimed Fuglsang's Astana teammate Alexey Lutsenko had also been present at one of the meetings in Nice last year.

Since the original story was published, both Astana and Ferrari have responded, denying any partnership took place.

Ferrari's statement, published on his blog website 53x12, was fairly succinct, denying any links: 'Once again I, unfortunately, find myself compelled to deny the latest media hoax that concerns me.'

He then went on to state he had not had a relationship with any Astana rider for over 10 years, had not visited Monaco or Nice for 12 years and that he had never been on a scooter or motorbike in his like, three things the report all claimed.

He then denied his presence at last year's Volta a Cataluyna, stated the investigation was based on 'false reports from probable interested parties' before ending with the statement by saying, 'I have never been convicted of doping.'

Ferrari is currently serving a lifetime ban handed down by the US Anti-Doping Agency for his involvement with Lance Armstrong. The ban also excludes Ferrari from working with any athletes, with any found to have used any of his services looking at a two-year ban.

Earlier on Monday, Astana had issued their own, longer statement in reaction to the report, acknowledging the claims and denying any involvement.

The statement read:

'Astana Pro Team is committed to the fight against doping in sport. The team requires from all its affiliated riders that they comply all time with all obligations under anti-doping regulations, including the prohibition to be associated with banned individuals or doctors.

'The team does not collaborate with any suspicious doctor, such as Dr Michele Ferrari. The riders are not authorized to consult any doctors external to the team in order to perform any activity, or to be prescribed any diet or treatment, related to their performance.

'The licence of Astana Pro Team has been renewed for the year 2020, confirming the full compliance by the team with all its obligations, including in terms of fight against doping in cycling.

'The team is in contact with the UCI and CADF in order to know more; it will collaborate with any inquiry that could be opened by CADF or the UCI.

'However, for the time being, no procedure has been initiated against any rider affiliated to the team. The Astana Pro Team trusts that if the CADF had any evidence of wrongdoing by any rider of the team, disciplinary proceedings would have been immediately initiated in accordance with anti-doping regulations and the World Anti-doping Code.'

Interestingly, neither statement named Fuglsang directly, while the Dane is yet to issue a comment of his own.

The 34-year-old, who had a standout season in 2019 winning - Liége-Bastogne-Liége and the Criterium du Dauphine - is expected to start his season in two weeks at the Ruta del Sol.

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