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By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002
An Italian judicial probe into doping during the 2001 Giro d’Italia has used hidden TV cameras to catch cyclists obtaining banned substances for their use during the race, La Republica newspaper reported Wednesday.
The recordings tape cyclists openly asking a doctor for substances before their evening meal after the conclusion of one stage and ahead of another one the day after.
The paper reports one conversation between two unnamed cyclists.
“Tomorrow we’re in the mountains so I need some Kena (Kenakort, a banned corticosteroid) to pick me up,” says one cyclist.
A second rider says: “Good, who is giving you the prescription?”
The first rider replies: “Don’t worry. That’s all taken care of.”
Another conversation recounts an exchange between a rider and his doctor.
“What do you need?” asks the doctor.
“Doctor, give me some Freamine and a bit of EPO,” replies the rider. Other discussions show riders arguing with doctors for not giving them enough banned substances while another cyclist upbraids his medic for talking to his team director about the substances he uses.
More than 400 hours of videotape are being examined by investigating magistrate Paola Cameran in a probe that is separate to the case in Florence handled by magistrate Luigi Bocciolini after the mass police raids on team hotels at San Remo during the 2001 Giro. One of the riders placed under formal investigation is Italian Ivan Gotti who has twice won the Giro d’Italia. Police raided a camper van belonging to Gotti’s family and seized numerous banned substances. Doctor Enrico Lazzaro is also named in the La Republica report as a central figure in the inquiry.
Lazzaro has worked closely with the Liquigas team which is taking a sabbatical this year and whose future is in jeopardy after the sponsors pulled out following the negative publicity created by the doping scandal.