Updated: Saturday, 31 May 2014 02:12 | By Agence France-Presse

Savoldelli banned for six months over Ferrari links

The Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) on Friday suspended now-retired two-time Giro winner Paolo Savoldelli for six months for having frequented Michele Ferrari, the doctor of disgraced drugs cheat Lance Armstrong.

Savoldelli banned for six months over Ferrari links

Italy's Paolo Savoldelli smiles as he crosses the finish line at the Giro d'Italia cycling race, on June 2, 2007 - by Filippo Monteforte

The 41-year-old Savoldelli, who won the Tour of Italy in 2002 and 2005 and retired in 2008, received a reduced retrospective sanction because of lack of proof that he had doped.

Coni had taken the step to investigate the Italian rider from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dossier on Armstrong, transmitted via the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Savoldelli raced for one season in 2005 alongside Armstrong. He remained for another season in the Discovery Channel team run by Johan Bruyneel.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport for life in October 2012 after the USADA produced evidence of widespread doping by him and his former team-mates.

The USADA last month banned Armstrong's former sports director Bruyneel from all sport for 10 years over his role in drug-taking in cycling.

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