UCI states Croatian cycling federation has rejected Riccò licence bid
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Monday, January 23, 2012

UCI states Croatian cycling federation has rejected Riccò licence bid

by Shane Stokes at 5:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Italian faces hearing on February 3rd

Riccardo RiccoFollowing yesterday’s story that Riccardo Riccò has been given a licence by the Croatian cycling federation for the 2012 season, thus potentially bypassing disciplinary action by the Italian Olympic committee CONI and the Italian national anti-doping tribunal, the UCI has stated that the move won’t take place.

As pointed out by Biciciclismo, the Croatian cycling federation’s website currently lists Riccò as being licence holder 2787, with the Italian registered with the Meridiana Kamen team he signed for after being dropped by Vacansoleil last season.

Its Facebook page also shows Riccò in a 2012 publicity shot for bike supplier Prestigio (pictured).

However UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani clarified the situation this morning. “Riccò is not domiciled in Croatia and the national federation has informed the UCI that they hence have refused to issue a licence for him,” he told VeloNation.

The news would appear to close the door to his return with that country and ensures he must await the findings of the Italian disciplinary action.

Previously handed a long ban after testing positive during the 2008 Tour de France, Riccò landed back in hot water last February when he was hospitalised in serious condition and reportedly told hospital staff that he transfused blood he had extracted 25 days earlier.

He was fired by the Vacansoleil team, suspended by the Italian federation and appeared before a disciplinary panel in mid-September.

He denied doping and claimed the hospital staff were lying. He claimed that rather than administering a transfusion, that he infused iron to treat low blood levels.

In order to determine the truth, an immuno-haematologist, a specialist in infectious diseases and a nephrologist, or kidney doctor were appointed to study his case. They have submitted their findings and a disciplinary hearing before the national anti-doping tribunal is due to take place on February 3rd.

If found guilty, Riccò faces a lengthy ban from the sport. CONI has recommended a twelve year ban, meaning that he would be 40 years of age before he would be eligible to compete again.


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