Elite Italian police search RadioShack team hotel at Giro


Wed, May 25, 2011 - Page 19

Police carried out a search at the RadioShack team hotel on Monday, Giro d’Italia director Angelo Zomegnan said.

Zomegnan said the search was conducted by officers of Italy’s elite NAS police unit during Monday’s rest day on the tour. He had no other details.

It was unclear if the search was related to the ongoing investigation into Michele Ferrari, a banned Italian physician who was once Lance Armstrong’s training adviser.

RadioShack team physician Nino Danieli told the Cycling News Web site that police questioned him and searched the team’s vehicles, but that he signed a police statement saying nothing of interest was found.

Reached at the team hotel in Falcade in northeastern Italy, RadioShack team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov said he did not see what went on.

“By the time I came, I [found] everyone healthy and without problems, so I guess nothing happened,” Ekimov said. “I cannot comment on things that I didn’t see.”

Police refused to comment.

Italian authorities raided the home of RadioShack rider Yaroslav Popovych in November and have been pouring through his phone and computer for information related to Ferrari.

The RadioShack team is backed by Armstrong and has the same management in place as when he won the Tour de France seven times when it was called US Postal and Discovery Channel. Armstrong rode for RadioShack until he retired earlier this year.

Popovych, a Ukrainian, lies 65th overall in the Giro. The highest-placed RadioShack rider is Tiago Machado of Portugal in 24th, 30 minutes, 59 seconds behind race leader Alberto Contador.