November 19, 2015

BOLZANO, Italy (AP) Lance Armstrong's former physician, Michele Ferrari, has been ordered to stand trial for allegedly providing doping assistance to a biathlete.

Italian biathlete Daniel Taschler and his father Gottlieb - a vice president of the international federation - were also indicted by a preliminary judge in Bolzano on Wednesday.

The older Taschler is accused of recommending that his son use Ferrari for doping, and contacting the doctor.

Ferrari was banned for life by the Italian Cycling Federation in 2002. He recently appealed to a regional court to have the ban lifted, with a decision expected in the coming months.

Ferrari was also banned for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in the 2012 case that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

The trial is slated to start in April.

Doping is a crime in Italy, and Ferrari was cleared on appeal in 2006 of criminal charges of distributing banned products to athletes.

Gottlieb Taschler is a vice president and member of the International Biathlon Union executive board. When the investigation was made public late last year, he announced he would not carry out activities within the IBU.

As a biathlete, Gottlieb Taschler won a bronze medal in relay at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

Daniel Taschler, 28, was a member of Italy's B squad when the inquiry surfaced, and he was immediately suspended. His doping allegedly took place in the 2010-11 season.

Ferrari and the Taschlers deny wrongdoing.

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