Filippo Pozzato was questioned for over two hours by the Italian Olympic Committee following allegations in the Italian press that he had gotten a new tattoo from banned sports doctor Michele Ferrari.
After the meeting, the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider described himself as traquillo and said that he would wait and see what action, if any, is taken by CONI.
“They checked out the new tattoo and I explained that Ferrari that nothing to do with it –I got it from a reputable tattoo artist in Sandrigo,” Pozzato told the ANSA news agency.
Pozzato was called before CONI after La Repubblica published a telephone conversation intercepted by investigators from Padova in which he allegedly speaks of working with Ferrari. “I wanted to go to Ferrari myself,” the newspaper reports him saying. “We’re grown-ups, aren’t we?… If you have a teammate in your room that’s taking something then it’s logical that you’re taking it too.”
However, Pozzato laughed of that statement, claiming it had nothing to do with illegal drugs. “By grown-ups, I meant, I’m old enough to decide if I want another tattoo or not. And really, it’s ridiculous — my roommate Matteo Rabottini had this cool tattoo of a cobra, that’s what I was talking about,” said Pozzato.
Ferrari was banned for life by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) and it will enforce suspensions of up to six months to riders found to have consulted with Ferrari. If Pozzato has worked with Ferrari on the new tattoo, it might ruin his chances to lead the Italian team at the London 2012 Olympics.
Already the owner of a huge back tattoo that reads “Only God Can Judge Me,” Pozzato was surprised about the media furor over his possible involvement with Ferrari. “It’s a tattoo, okay, ink is legal, it’s not a performance enhancing substance. I may have showed the design to him just to see if he had an opinion –he’s a very intelligent man. But tattoos and EPO are two different things,” said Pozzato.