Riccò’s appeal against twelve year ban rejected by CAS, rider confirmed out until 2024
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Friday, March 01, 2013

Riccò’s appeal against twelve year ban rejected by CAS, rider confirmed out until 2024

by Shane Stokes at 5:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
End of the road for Italian’s pro career

Riccardo RiccoRiccardo Riccò is facing the definitive end to his career today, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne rejecting his appeal against the twelve year ban he was handed last April.

The Italian climber lodged an action with CAS in June and had his hearing in December. That appeal has now been unsuccessful and he will now not be able to compete again until he is 40 years of age.

“On 18 June 2012, Riccardo Riccò appealed to the CAS to request the annulment of the CONI Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision,” CAS announced today. “The rider argued that the proceedings before such body were flawed and that the Tribunal which handled the case was not impartial. The rider also raised several procedural errors.

“The case was handled by a Sole Arbitrator, Professor Ulrich Haas (Germany), who considered that the arguments of the rider were unfounded and that, in particular, he had failed to demonstrate a lack of impartiality by the CONI Anti-Doping Tribunal. Accordingly, the twelve year suspension was confirmed.”

Riccò was regarded as one of Italy’s best climbers since Marco Pantani, earning comparisons with the Grand Tour winner, and indeed was tipped as a possible future winner of the Tour de France.

He turned pro with Saunier Duval in 2006 and won both a stage in the Settimana internazionale di Coppi e Bartali and the Japan Cup.

He stepped things up the following season when he took two stages and the points classification in Tirreno-Adriatico, then took a stage and sixth overall in the Giro d’Italia.

In 2008 he returned to the latter event and finished second overall, less than two minutes behind the winner Alberto Contador, and also picked up two stages plus the young rider classification. He then lined out in the Tour de France and grabbed two mountain stage wins there, only to lose both and be thrown off the race when he tested positive for CERA.

Handed a twenty month ban, he returned to competition in March 2010 with the Ceramica Flaminia team. He then completed a mid-season transfer to Vacansoleil and was expected to be one of its leaders in 2011.

Working with the anti-doping coach Aldo Sassi, Riccò vowed to race clean and said that he believed it was possible to win the Giro d’Italia without doping products. His second chance in the sport unravelled in February of that year after he was hospitalized in serious condition, and reportedly told hospital staff that he had administered a blood transfusion that he had stored in a refrigerator.

An anti-doping procedure was opened up and while he tried to return to racing while that was ongoing, the Italian federation blocked him from racing for the rest of the season. He was handed a twelve year ban in April 2012 by the Italian National Anti-Doping tribunal.

His appeal to CAS was his last chance to return to racing but with that now rejected, he will have to put any plans of returning to competition on hold until 2024.

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