MONTE GRAPPA, Italy (AFP) — The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Friday suspended retired two-time Giro d’Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli for six months for having frequented Michele Ferrari, the doctor of disgraced drugs cheat Lance Armstrong.
The 41-year-old Savoldelli, who won the Giro in 2002 and 2005 before retiring in 2008, received a reduced retrospective sanction because of a lack of proof that he had doped.
CONI had taken the step to investigate the Italian rider from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) dossier on Armstrong, transmitted via the UCI.
Savoldelli raced for one season in 2005 alongside Armstrong. He remained for another season on the Discovery Channel team run by Johan Bruyneel.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport for life in October 2012 after the USADA produced evidence of widespread doping by him and his former teammates.
The USADA last month banned Armstrong’s former sport director Bruyneel from all sports for 10 years over his role in doping.