Following the conviction of Michele Ferrari by the Italian courts today, procycling has received thePICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE AUSTIN (Oct. 1, 2004) - Lance Armstrong is issuing the following statement in response to an Italian court's acquittal of Dr. Michele Ferrari of distributing doping products and his conviction for sporting fraud and illegally acting as a pharmacist. Dr. Ferrari, who is broadly recognized as a pioneer and leading authority in sports medicine and high-altitude training, has been on trial since 2001 for allegedly providing professional cyclists with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Dr. Ferrari has served as a conditioning consultant to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) team since 1999 under the direction of team coach Chris Carmichael and team physician Dr. Pedro Celaya. "I was disappointed to learn of the Italian court's judgment against Dr. Michele Ferrari. Dr. Ferrari has been a longtime friend and trusted adviser to me and the USPS team, during which time he never suggested, prescribed or provided me with any performance-enhancing drugs. I was pleased to hear that Dr. Ferrari was acquitted of the charge of providing illegal drugs to athletes. I am not surprised by that verdict. However, I have always said that I have zero tolerance for anyone convicted of using or facilitating the use of performance-enhancing drugs. As a result of today's developments, the USPS team and I have suspended our professional affiliation with Dr. Ferrari as we await the release of the full verdict, which will contain Judge Maurizio Passerini's reasoning. In the meantime, I personally wish the very best for Dr. Ferrari and his family during this difficult time."