Cycling - Ferrari denies doping Armstrong

Banned doctor Michele Ferrari has denied accusations he helped Lance Armstrong to dope and claimed the disgraced cyclist never sought information from him on doping.

Italian Ferrari has been banned for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency while Armstrong was stripped of seven Tour de France titles following a USADA investigation.

“I never saw any doping practice from Lance Armstrong,” Ferrari told Al Jazeera. “I can say I never saw or heard something about that. He never asked me for information about doping.

"There are six riders that accused me but these riders, I didn’t have any relationship or any consulting with these guys."

Former US Postal Service team members Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Michael Barry, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and George Hincapie all testified against Ferrari but the doctor maintains he is the victim of a conspiracy.

“What I can say about the USADA investigation is that there is no evidence, in particular no evidence against me,” Ferrari added.

“I can say also there is no evidence, no smoking gun about the accusations. Probably I can suppose that for some of these athletes, the federal investigation was able to demonstrate their doping practice, which they organised by themselves, and to save themselves, they agreed with the USADA conspirations [sic].”

Two other riders, Michele Scarponi and Giovanni Visconti, were on the receiving end of bans this week after having consulted with Ferrari, but again the doctor refused to admit his guilt.

He said his role in their cases consisted of “advising athletes of the best way to train and proposing alternatives – perfectly legal alternatives – to the use of doping.”

He also revealed that he is looking into having his ban rescinded.

“We’re considering the possibility of initiating legal action in the United States against the USADA dossier and the life ban,” he said.

Armstrong was also given a life ban, despite having never returned a positive sample during his career, leading Ferrari to believe the controversial star was clean.

"The test could have been a smoking gun but it never happened," he said. "So, either he was clean – and in my opinion, he was clean and he says he was clean – or the tests are not powerful.

“Or the UCI was corrupt.”