Riccardo Riccò given suspended prison sentence and €3,000 fine for Tour 2008 offences
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Riccardo Riccò given suspended prison sentence and €3,000 fine for Tour 2008 offences

by Shane Stokes at 1:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Italian may appeal French ruling as he was already punished in Italy

Riccardo RiccoHe’s still awaiting the final ruling in relation to the alleged transfusion carried out in February of this year, but Riccardo Riccò was given the judges’ final decision today in relation to his earlier positive test in the 2008 Tour de France. The Italian rider was handed a two months suspended prison sentence and a €3,000 fine.

The ruling originates from the EPO/Cera positive he returned after winning two stages in the Tour. He was detained by police prior to the start of the Lavelanet-Narbonne stage and his room was searched; masking agents, syringes and infusion sets were discovered.

Riccò had appealed an earlier judgement against him but the French authorities again ruled that he should be punished. He was also previously given a fine of €4,000 euros by the French cycling federation (FFC).

However Riccò’s lawyers may decide to fight the case, saying that he has effectively been punished twice for the same offence. “Following the positive test during the Tour de France, an investigation was opened at the same time in France and Italy,” said Annamaria Tripicchio-Rogier, according to L’Equipe. “The ruling was quickest in Italy and he was sentenced by the Criminal Court of Padua.”

On that occasion he was sentenced to a fine of €2670 and given two months and twenty days. This was then amended to a fine of €3,040.

Riccò and his legal team have yet to state if they will appeal.

The rider returned to competition in March 2010 and vowed to race clean, saying that he would prove that his success was down to talent. However he found himself in hot water again in February when the-then Vacansoleil rider was hospitalised in serious condition and reportedly confessed to transfusing blood he had stored for over three weeks in a refrigerator.

He has since denied the confession, accusing the medical staff in the hospital of lying. However in October the Italian Olympic Committee CONI requested that he be given a twelve year ban. Earlier this month La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that National Anti-Doping Tribunal had appointed three specialists to establish the full truth about what happened.

They are an immuno-haematologist, a specialist in infectious diseases and a nephrologist, or kidney doctor. The trio were given 45 days to come to a conclusion, after which a final determination will be made.


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