The director of the Mapei Centre says that the training facility is no longer working with Michele Scarponi’s Lampre team. The 2011 Giro d’Italia champion and other persons associated with the team are the subject of ongoing doping investigations, although those were’t specifically cited as reasons behind the Mapei Centre’s decision.
Scarponi faces a three-month ban for his association with banned doctor Michele Ferrari, but has insisted he stopped training with him after joining Lampre for the 2011 season since the move meant he came under the supervision of the Mapei Centre.
The Mapei Centre’s director, Dr Claudio Pecci, told La Gazzetta dello Sport that while the first year working with Lampre, in 2011, had gone well, the situation had deteriorated in 2012. “There was confusion. We saw Scarponi a couple of times. That’s one of the reasons why our agreement didn’t work out. Whose fault is it? I don’t know.”
It's not entirely clear from the article, which appears in the print edition of today's newspaper, wheher those two meetings with Scarponi were over the two years, or just in 2012.
The Mapei Centre was originally founded to support the riders from the Mapei team, before moving on to work with other teams and individual riders and more recently branching out into other sports, including football.
It was set up on a strict anti-doping platform by Aldo Sassi, who died of a brain tumour in December 2010, and is credited by Cadel Evans as turning him from a mountain biker into a road cyclist who would go on to win the world championship – something Sassi was still alive to see – and the Tour de France.
Evans will still be working with the Mapei Centre, although another Grand Tour winner that has used its services in recent years won’t – Ivan Basso will now be training under the supervision of Cannondale directeur sportive, Paolo Slongo.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.