The doctor at the centre of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal has at last spoken out over the allegations.
In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera English’s sport correspondent Lee Wellings, Michele Ferrari denied any knowledge of drug use.
Ferrari was named 480 times in the US Anti-Doping Agency’s devastating report on the Armstrong case earlier this year, and was handed a lifetime ban by the agency.
The doctor responds to the report for the first time on a half-hour Al Jazeera news special into doping in cycling which will air from Saturday.
Ferrari: “I’ve never seen any doping practice from Lance Armstrong. I can say I’ve never seen, I never heard something about that. He never asked me for information about doping. My relationship with some teammates of Lance Armstrong was very, very short and occasional. It was not strict. There are six riders that accused me, but these riders, I didn’t have any relationship, any consulting with these guys.”
Lee Wellings, Al Jazeera: “So how do you convince people that you are telling the truth?”
Ferrari: “What I can say about the USADA investigation is that there are no evidence, in particular no evidence against me, but I can say also there are no evidence, no smoking gun about the investigations.
“Probably what I can suppose is that some of these athletes, the federal investigation was able to demonstrate their doping practice, which they organized by themselves, and to save themselves, they agreed with the USADA conspirations as I call the USADA investigation.”
Al Jazeera put Ferrari’s defence to Greg LeMond, three times Tour De France winner (86, 89,90).
LeMond: “When I heard he was working with Lance Armstrong I was devastated.
“I think it’s incredibly damaging, Dr Ferrari has been in practice since the 1980s .. and it was widely known when I was racing, the people who were with him, there was a dramatic difference in performance. It all has to do with financial gain and cheating, and Dr Ferrari is well known to be a master at doping.”
‘Cycling: Pedaling a Lie?’ will air on Al Jazeera English at the following times:
- Saturday 15th Dec 1130GMT
- Sunday 16th Dec 0030GMT, 1930GMT
- Monday 17th Dec 0730GMT, 1630GMT
After the first transmission, the programme will be available on www.aljazeera.com/sport