Cycling - Doctor Manelli handed life ban

Italian doctor Filippo Manelli, who advised a rider on the use of EPO and growth hormones, has been handed a life ban by an anti-doping tribunal.

Manelli, based in Brescia, advised now-retired cyclist Leonardo Bertagnolli how to take EPO in 2003, according to documents released as part of the Padua police and USADA investigation into doping.

The USADA, as part of its investigations into the US Postal Service team, published a statement from police which contained damning testimony from Bertagnolli against Manelli.

"I started to take EPO on the advice of Filippo Manelli in 2003 and he told me to inject it in the skin near my groin. He told me to stop taking it a week before a race," Bertagnolli's statement read.

Bertagnolli suffered from a thtroid problem but that did not change the advice of Manelli.

"I only took it a few times because of my problem," Bertagnolli said. "Manelli knew but still advised me to use GH. He told me what drugs to use when I visited him in his office in Gavardo. He wanted to be paid for the visits and for the drugs."

Manelli has been banned from working in sport and attending events. He was also fined 1,500 euros by the Italian tribunal.