The Gazetta dello Sport, an Italian sporting newspaper, reported today that Dr. Michele Ferrari was present at Astana’s first training camp for the 2014 season. They cited information for the Padova inquiry that there are pictures of Michele and Astana riders outside their team hotel. Remember, Dr. Ferrari is banned from all cycling, on a global basis, so hanging out with the Astana riders is a serious no-no.
Astana has declined to comment on the Gazzetta article. Oh, really.
Let’s just get rid of these guys. It is such a joke that they are still riding around. Alexandre Vinokourov used Dr. Ferrari when he was busted for blood doping when he was a rider. 5 of their guys have tested positive this season. It all seems like such a farce.
Anyone with a brain should be able to realize that if cycling is serious at all about trying to rid itself from drug use, it can’t just keep turning a blind eye to consistent and non-remorseful dopers. And that is what Astana is all about.
Vinokorov has already said he won’t testify at the UCI commission for doping. Even Lance has talked to them, and he doesn’t run a Pro Tour team, like Vino.
The only guy that I’ve seen that publicly supports Astana is Katusha’s team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov. He doesn’t think it is right to suspend the license of Astana for a few riders doping on their own. I don’t really give a shit what Eki thinks. Eki’s team, Katusha, was denied a UCI license by the UCI for doping positives in 2012, but that was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
You remember Ekimov, the guy that rode in support of Lance forever, has the gold medal from the Athen’s Olympics, since Tyler gave it back. I bet he feels pretty great about winning those Olympics. I wonder if Eki and Vino get together, over a glass of vodka, and congratulate each other on their Olympic victories?
On Wednesday, supposedly, the UCI is going to announce whether Astana gets a license to race this year. Hopefully they have brains, then their decision will easy. But, money talks and the whole system is polluted, so don’t hold your breath on them making the right, and easy, decision.