An Italian court indicted former Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego and 26 others on doping charges involving his Lampre-Merida team on Friday, in a new blow for a sport dogged by drug scandals.

In a statement, Lampre said it had "full confidence in the team members involved in the case" and that the trial would prove the doping charges to be baseless.

A spokesman confirmed that 2004 Giro winner Cunego, who is leading the team in the Tour de France, as well as former world road race champion Alessandro Ballan and others had been indicted on charges of buying or receiving banned substances.

The trial centres around a pharmacy in the northern Italian city of Mantova frequented by riders of the Lampre team.