Bertagnolli speaks - In English

Jeff J Mitchell - Getty Images

Below is my translation of Leonardo Bertagnolli's statement as found in the appendices to the Lance Files. Make of it what you will, and don't assume that it's totally accurate if you want to use it for any other purpose than sniggering and throwing doughnuts at dopers.

I began as an amateur in 2000 with Bruno Leali. In 2001 I moved to Team San Pellegrino, run by Secondo Volpi, and in 2002 I turned professional, riding for three years at Saeco, when they also employed Simoni, Di Luca and Celestino. Following that, from 2005 I was employed by Cofidis, in 2007 and 2008 I was at Liquigas alongside Pellizzotti, Pozzato, Nibali and Di Luca. In 2009 I moved to Amica Chips, run by Mori Simone (which collapsed in mid 2009), then from May 2009 I moved to Gianni Savio's Androni Giocattoli. At the start of 2011 I moved to Lampre ISD.

I got to know Michele Ferrari during the first years of my professional career when I rode for Saeco. I don't remember who, but someone gave me the Doctor's number, and I booked an appointment to take just one test at his home in Ferrara. I believe it was in 2002, but I don't recall precisely the year. On that occasion he said nothing to me about taking drugs, nor advised me on banned practices. I went back to Ferrari at the end of 2006, when I had a contract with Liquigas for the next year.

I have suffered from a thyroid problem from 1997, when I was still a boy and what I was an amateur cyclist.

At the end of 2006 when I had thyroid troubles I thought to go back to Dr Ferrari to resolve the problems that were coming from my thyroid dysfunction. I asked the Liquigas personnel (Amadio, Corsetti) for permission to visit Ferrari to take care of my problems, and no-one opposed my decision. I telephoned Ferrari at his home and made an appointment. During the first appointment I set out my health problems to Ferrari and asked if he could help me. Ferrari replied that given that he knew that I rode for Liquigas there were no problems in me using him. In that situation he said to me that the preparatore "must know the athlete and adjust his aim". It was a clear observation and I understood at once its meaning. I state that from then I went periodically to Ferrari also because in 2007 I had the endorsement from Liquigas. During that meeting with Ferrari we agreed a payment of 12.000 Euro a year for his services, payable in instalments. Of those instalments I paid only a fraction of around 3,000 Euro (I don't remember exactly), since in March I had some sort of viral problem with my heart and I stayed inactive until July 2007. I state however that from the beginning of 2007 I presented myself at Monzuno to take the tests, making contact via his Swiss number, which he gave me at the first meeting at the end of 2006. In the camper where we met to do the tests, Ferrari had a haemoglobin meter to test haemoglobin. Every time in the tests done on subsequent occasions he tested my haemoglobin. At the time of the tests he drew me up a training chart, weighed me, and made an assessment of my overall health.

When I returned to training after my heart problems, I went to Ferrari at St Moritz together with Bertolini, Francesco Moser's cycling nephew, Gasparotto, Pellizzotti, Chicchi and several others from other teams. Many of them came from Livigno. I state that in 2006 I went to Livigno of my own accord for training, and there I saw Ferrari with a group of cyclists, among whom was Vinokourov. On the occasion of July 2007, after my sickness, I went as stated to St Moritz and spoke with Ferrari about taking EPO. Ferrari told me to take it in small doses, 1000 UI per day intravenously. "With 1000 you go up, with 500 it's stable," he said. I stayed at St Moritz for 10 days and for 10 days I took EPO as I had been shown by Ferrari. I did as Ferrari advised me, taking Eprex and stopping two or three days before a race. I don't remember exactly for how many days I took EPO, but certainly no less than 7. For sure I had seen Ferrari even before I went to St Moritz, and for sure he advised me on how to take EPO that I [preventivamente mi] had obtained through a one-time amateur cyclist from Brescia by the name of Manuel Bresciani, who I know at San Pellegrino in 2001. I started to take EPO following the advice of Filippo Manelli in 2003, and he showed me to take it sub-cutaneously on the stomach, stopping one week before the race. Ferrari didn't start me on EPO, but simply showed me a different way of taking it with regard to Manelli. So when I went to Ferrari I already knew the substance, that it was forbidden, and what its effects were. I remember that effectively my haematocrit changed 4-5 percentage points. Endocrinologists I have heard explained to me that the effect of this changes would be due to my thyroid dysfunction, since even in that period where I was taking nothing I continued to have changes in haematocrit.

In contrast to what Filippo Manelli had said, Michele Ferrari explained better to me th eway of taking EPO to not be caught positive. While Manelli had told me to take it in the stomach area, subcutaneously, and advised me to stop a week before the race, Michele Ferrari and his method of taking precise measured doses intravenously gave the possibility of taking it up to two or three days before the race, and benefiting from a greater period of effect.

In 2007 I won at San Sebastian and at other small races, and took some good placings.

Following this I suppose that I went back again to Ferrari, given that he lived near me. I remember that at on time in 2007 I saw Popovych and Bileka at Ferrari's house. I state that speaking with other members of the Liquigas team I learned that Pellizzotti went to Ferrari at Monzano. I know that many of my colleagues from Liquigas went to Ferrari because we spoke of it among ourselves, and the team itself was aware: Pellizzotti, Kreuziger, Gasparotto, Chicchi. Doing Ferrari's tests alongside me I sometimes saw Pellizzotti, Gasparotto and Possoni. At the end of his test, we went into his camper one at a time and the examinations were done personally, without the others present.

Between 2007 and 2008 we turn to talk of other things. In 2007 the whereabouts requirements (Adams protocol) came out, and thus there was a chance of being found positive for EPO, hence Dr Ferrari advised me to transfuse my own blood, the "in and out" that we speak about in the interception dated 27-08-2010. Before Ferrari's advice I had never done a blood transfusion. I don't recall exactly where Ferrari explained to me for the first time how to transfuse. I remember that he explained the details of the method, saying to get hold of the special bags via veterinary channels. I got the first ones from Manuel Bresciani. He told me to withdraw between 350 and 500cc, depending on recovery time and my objectives. He told me to knot the bag and to weigh it on scales so that I would know the weight, and hence the amount withdrawn. Before inserting the needle he told me to make a knot in the tube and after that to begin the withdrawal. When the right quantity was reached the tube would be blocked by the clips and the knot would tighten. I did it two or three time because I was afraid that it would get infected. Once the bag was filled he advised to keep it in a Liebherr fridge (a hospital fridge) at a controlled temperature of between 2 and 4 degrees. Ferrari showed me the type of fridge to buy, pointing it out on a leaflet. I myself took care of finding a supplier and bought the fridge in the province of Ravenna, It was Ferrari also who showed me the temperature for preservation of the blood.

Ferrari also advised me as to the timing of blood transfusions, saying to draw the blood before going to altitude and to reinfuse it upon my return, hence to better explain the phase shifts of the parameters, haematocrit, reticulocytes, etc.

Before this meeting with Ferrari I had never done blood transfusions. It was he who showed me the way as I have said above, and even so the first time I was afraid of doing it.

I began that practice in 2008 and did it just one time in the summer because in that time Liquigas forbade me from going to Ferrari, in a change of attitude to their previous tolerance of the visits.

The first time that I withdrew blood and put it back according to the methodology that Ferrari had shown was in August 2008 for the races that month. I reinfused the blood about 20 days after I had withdrawn it. Ferrari told me that the blood should be reinfused after approximately 20 days and after a period at altitude.

In 2009 I did one bag before the Giro del Trentino. That year I won a stage at the Giro d'Italia. I did a couple of bags in the summer of 2009 in preparation for the final part of the season. In 2010 I did my first bag before the Trittico Lombardo, the second before the Gran Premi odi Camaiore (as reported in the interception daterd 27-08-2010) and the third before the Giro di Lombardia.

I saw Michele Ferrari at the end of the 2010 season. Knowing of the investigation into Popovych, he told me to throw everything away because there was a risk of searches. The last time I saw Ferrari he advised me that as an alternative to the traditional bags I should use PP (polypropylene) bags that are hard to find in transfusion centres, or to decant the blood into a glass phial that had just been emptied. I remember that at that meeting in November 2010 I advised him that that situation seemed to me to be extremely dangerous with the possibility of contaminating the blood and a risk of clots.

It was Ferrari who first told me that you could find the bags easily through veterinary channels because they weren't controlled and the product was the same.

Filippo Manelli advised me on taking GH, in particular Geref which I only took a few times on account of its incompatibility with my thyroid problems. Manelli knew about my thyroid problems when I saw him between 2003 and 2006. Nevertheless he advised me to use GH (I don't remember the brand) and other hormones. I only took th ehormones that Manelli advised me to a few times on account of its incompatibility with my condition. Manelli advised me on drugs in his private studio in Gavardo. I paid Manelli for both the consultations and the drugs.

I began to take Testis della Guna in August 2010 on the advice of Michele Ferrari. I took it as he advised me "half a phial on the shoulder". In his camper Ferrari sometimes gave me also an unlabelled phial of a substance that he didn't tell me what it was, telling me to put it on my shoulder, that it wasn't dope, and that it wouldn't harm me. He never revealed to me what was in that phial for which I paid 80 Euro cash.

In 2010 I paid Ferrari around 3000 Euro in cash. In 2009 I paid little because I rode for Simone Mori's Amica Chips, which collapsed and didn't pay my salary.

I have nothing else to add.

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