After endless back and forth about the info that came out of the Mantua doping case that was mainly centered around the Lampre team, CONI have finally come to a conclusion. Alessandro Ballan is banned for two years, starting today January 17th 2014. Presumably more details will emerge but he is banned for use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method. The leaked info to Gazzetta dello Sport seemed to indicate that there was evidence (phone taps etc.) of use of HGH and EPO during his time with Lampre in 2008-2009. There is also some disputed talk of blood transfusions that Ballan publicly insists was simply ozone treatment for an injury.
Along with the former World Champion and Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Ballan, CONI also handed out a lifetime ban for the Dr Guido Nigrelli who was at the heart of the distribution ring in the Mantua case, and a 4 year ban for Dr Fiorenzo Bonazzi, both for trafficking and administration of prohibited substances.
Next of course comes a CAS appeal and the ritual throwing under the bus of Ballan from the BMC management who have supported him thus far and even re-signed him, knowing he was under investigation. Now of course they will formally disown him and point out how all this nasty business was before his time on BMC. It will be a well recognizable song and dance number that we are all too familiar with at this point. Please remember during these trying times that teams and management have no responsibility in these cases, only riders can be blamed for these nasty shenanigans.
EDIT: Yes, BMC have had enough and says bye bye.
The BMC Racing Team announced Friday that it is terminating the contract of Alessandro Ballan. Ballan received a two-year suspension from CONI Friday for charges in connection with his former team. In accordance with the BMC Racing Team's strict anti-doping policy, Ballan is no longer a member of the BMC Racing Team, said president/general manager Jim Ochowicz
Source: BMC Racing Team