The trial of controversial sports
doctor Michele Ferrari has been delayed for four months after his lawyers asked for additional experts reports.
The Italian is being tried in Bologna for allegedly administering illegal drugs to leading cyclists.
Ferrari, who has in the past worked with five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, denies the charges.
Judge Maurizio Passarini has said the trial, now entering its final phase, will resume on April 20 next year.
Ferrari told the court in earlier hearings that his help for athletes was based on "alternative strategies such as diet and training".
He said: "I never prescribed or administered doping, including
legal drugs intended to improve performances.
"In addition to the physical damages it causes to athletes
... (it) leads them to believe that the others go faster
because they take forbidden substances."