New Regulations Prohibit Olympic Athletes from Training with Drug Cheats

By Paul Gaita 01/22/15

Michele Ferrari, Lance Armstrong's physician and riding coach, is one of the more notable names on the banned list.

Lance Armstrong

Athletes competing in Olympic sports will be prohibited from working with managers, coaches, or agents who have been banned for doping.

The new rule, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2015, is part of the 2015 code guidelines set forth by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) an independent agency composed of sports agencies and governments that provides anti-doping policies for all forms of international sports.

The rule specifically states that any athlete who collaborates with a banned individual will receive a warning from the agency; further interaction will generate sanctions against that athlete. The 2015 amendment is the first time a penalty has been set in place for athletes who deal with banned figures.

Among the more notable coaches and managers on WADA’s list of banned personnel is Michele Ferrari, the Italian physician and cycling coach who helped to train Lance Armstrong for several of his controversial Tour de France wins. Ferrari was banned for life in 2012 for administering and trafficking prohibited substances as part of WADA’s investigation into Armstrong’s doping allegations, but has subsequently been seen training cyclists on several occasions.

Italian sports officials, who have been active in urging law enforcement to crack down on Ferrari, may now use the 2015 amendment as further leverage to prevent his influence on cyclists.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.