Mantova investigation lurches back into life

Anyone remember this? The investigation that centred around pharmacist Guido Nigrelli that released the names of 32 mostly Lampre-related riders and staff  has taken a step towards a conclusion today.

Yesterday, the Gazzetta dello Sport gave us the news that a judge will decide on whether or not to charge the people involved with offences ranging from the trafficking, usage and prescription of prohibited substances.

The investigation was sparked by confessions from Emanuele Sella, after he tested positive for CERA in July 2008. Initially, 35 people were said to be under investigation, but according to the big cycling news outlets the figure now seems to have fallen to 32. The actual figure still involved is 31, as Stefano Cavallari’s acquittal was not widely reported (the list of names involved can be found at the bottom of this post).

Last May, details of phone conversations involving Ballan, Pietropolli and Nigrelli from 2009 emerged, with Nigrelli claiming that “without chemicals, Ballan would never have made it” in one of them. In addition to the phone recordings, the evidence is also understood to be made up of some video footage.

Several of the riders involved have seen their teams suspend them from their duties for short amounts of time, as details of the investigation emerged. When the investigation came to light in 2010, BMC put their riders, ex-Lampre men Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio, on inactive status for a month. In 2011, Marzio Bruseghin, Marco Bandiera and Mauro Da Dalto were pulled from the Giro d’Italia line-ups by their respective teams last year, with each rider returning to racing in late May/early June.

This case has highlighted the interminably slow judicial process. With details first coming to light in early 2010, last April saw Mantova’s public prosecutor Antonino Condorelli say that the investigation had been concluded and that he was days away from asking the preliminary hearing judge to charge those under investigation.

Paolo Bossoni (Retired cyclist)
Sergio Gelati (Former Saunier Duval personal trainer)
Sebastian Gilmozzi (Mountain biker)
Roberto Messina (‘Ciclista di Villafranca’)
Dr. Guido Nigrelli (Pharmacist/veterinarian, raided in the 2001 Sanremo Giro Raids, longtime working relationship with Saronni)
Dr. Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi (Doctor at a surgery in Montichiari)
Fabio Della Torre (Lampre physiotherapist)
Dr. Josè Ibarguren Taus (Doctor at – Euskadi 1995, Lotto 1999, iBanesto 2001, Lampre 2002-04, Euskaltel 2005, Saunier Duval/Fuji 2006-09, Omega Pharma 2010-11, QuickStep 2012-)
Mariano Piccoli (Retired cyclist, U23 team Spercenigo-Moro-Scott DS)
Maurizio Piovani (Lampre DS)
Giuseppe Saronni (Former Lampre manager)
Alessandro Ballan
Marco Bandiera
Emanuele Bindi
Francesco Bonazzi (?)
Geo Bonazzi (?)
Marzio Bruseghin
Nicola Castrini (Footballer?)
Pietro Caucchioli (Retired cyclist)
Damiano Cunego
Mauro Da Dalto
Mirko Lorenzetto
Manuele Mori
Massimiliano Mori
Paolo Pezzini (Retired cyclist)
Daniele Pietropolli
Simone Ponzi
Michael Rasmussen
Mauro Santambrogio
Francesco Tomei
Matteo Zambroni (Footballer)
Dr. Andrea Andreazzolli (Former Lampre doctor, now with Astana) (Acquitted in January)
Stefano Cavallari (Retired cyclist) (Acquitted due to a clerical error)

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