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He was deemed guilty by USADA of doping athletes, he didn’t contest a lifetime ban handed to him, he’s been banned by the Italian Olympic Committee CONI and even Lance Armstrong has indicated that Michele Ferrari played a role in doping him.
However the controversial doctor has decided to fight the portrayal of him as Armstrong’s doping physician in the new film The Program. According to the ANSA news agency in Italy, lawyers for Ferrari have tried to block the upcoming release of the film.
They are also said to be seeking damages.
The film is due to be released in Italy on Thursday.
According to Ferrari’s lawyers, he never injected Armstrong with EPO.
The claim will be viewed by some with incredulity, given his lifetime ban and everything that has been uncovered in recent years. However it may be the case that Ferrari is not denying prescribing doping products, but simply stating that he personally never directly administered EPO to Armstrong.
Armstrong stated in 2004 that he had stopped working with Ferrari, but the Texan resumed contact with him after he returned to cycling in 2009.
He claimed that their post 2004 exchanges were simply on a personal level, but investigators tracked payments between the American and the Italian. Ferrari’s son was thought to be acting as an intermediary.
Armstrong was accused of doping by former US Postal Service team-mate Floyd Landis in 2010, prompting a federal investigation.
This was inexplicably closed down, but USADA stepped forward and took up the reins. In 2012 it said that Armstrong had doped and also supplied doping products to others, coercing some riders into taking banned substances.
He initially denied this, but eventually admitted long-term doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.
He was handed a lifetime ban from the sport, as was his former doctor.