London - Former Tour of Italy winner Michele Scarponi was on Wednesday banned for three months by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) over his contacts with Michele Ferrari, the doctor at the centre of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
Ferrari is one of several individuals being investigated by prosecutors in Padua. He is accused of being at the centre of a sophisticated doping network involving athletes, sports agents and corrupt banking officials.
Reacting to the ruling Scarponi, who rides for Lampre, said: "I accept the verdict of three months even if I was hoping to escape punishment. My conscience is clear."
Scarponi's suspension was backdated to October 1.
The 33-year-old, who was also fined 10 000 euros, has admitted visiting Ferrari twice in September 2010.