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February 3, 2020
Photography by Kristof Ramon
Top Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang is the subject of an investigation over links with the notorious doctor Michele Ferrari, Denmark’s Politiken newspaper claimed Sunday.
“Information from the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) indicates that (Astana rider) Jakob Fuglsang is part of the program of Michele Ferrari, and that his teammate Alexey Lutsenko was present during at least one meeting between them in Nice/Monaco,” said an excerpt from a “secret” CADF report published by Politiken.
CADF is the independent anti-doping body which currently conducts doping controls for the International Cycling Union (UCI).
“CADF has obtained information suggesting that Michele Ferrari continues to be involved in the Astana team, and that he went to Monaco [where Fuglsang is based] and other places to meet the riders,” claimed the report.
Fuglsang, 34, had a career-best year in 2019, winning the Criterium du Dauphine and Liege-Bastogne-Liege; he finished the season as the third highest ranked rider in the world. Fulgsang recently extended his contract with Astana.
Ferrari was banned for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for his relationship with Lance Armstrong who was also kicked out of the sport and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after he admitted doping. Ferrari’s ban extends beyond cycling – he is banned from working in any sport, and it is forbidden for athletes to utilise his services. Breaches of this would result in a two year ban.
Ferrari’s ties to Astana extend beyond his alleged contact with Fuglsang and Lutsenko. Ferrari worked with 2012 Olympic champion Alexandre Vinokourov who was suspended for two years in 2007 for blood doping. Vinokourov is Astana’s sporting director.
Furthermore, the CADF report alleges that Michele Ferrari “was present at the Vuelta a Catalunya with the Astana Pro Team in March 2019 [and] has a base in Lugano, Switzerland”.
Separate to CADF’s report, investigations from Politiken, Danish state television DR, and Norwegian newspaper VG have spoken to 12 individuals connected with the sport, who all allege that Fuglsang has been working with Ferrari. One allegation suggests that Fuglsang was seen interval-training behind a scooter piloted by Ferrari, near his home in Monaco. An unnamed “top cyclist” has allegedly seen the two together, but despite multiple attempts by the Scandinavian media outlets, refused to come forward.
Fuglsang, Lutsenko and Astana were approached for comment by Politiken, VG and DR, but after “several days of dialogue”, ultimately decided not to comment “on a report based on indications and rumors as there is no official message from the UCI or CADF.”
The UCI also issued a response saying that “As of today, the UCI has not received a report from the CADF in order to initiate proceedings against the individuals and the team mentioned. Our Federation is following this case closely and will take the appropriate measures in the interests of cycling.”