Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego among 27 people indicted for doping in Italy
Former world champion Alessandro Ballan is among 27 people who have been indicted on doping charges.
Last Updated: 19/07/13 3:28pm
It follows a lengthy investigation surrounding pharmacist Guido Nigrelli and involves past and present members of the Lampre-Merida team.
Disgraced former Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen, Italian rider Mauro Santambrogio and former professional Marzio Bruseghin are also among those indicted.
Santambrogio (Vini Fantini) is already currently suspended after testing positive for EPO on the first day of this year's Giro d'Italia in May.
Ballan (BMC), who won the world road race title in 2008, recently returned to racing after suffering serious injuries in a training crash during the off-season, while Cunego (Lampre-Merida) is in action at the Tour de France.
In a statement, Lampre-Merida said: "The team reaffirms trust in the athletes and the team members involved in this case, and is confident that during the hearing it will be possible to demonstrate their non-involvement in the subject of the charges.
"The certainty of being able to demonstrate the non-involvement brings about the question of who, once that issue has been clarified, will take responsibility for the burdens and offence placed upon the team."
A hearing date has been set for December 10.