Riccardo Ricco’s partner now positive for CERA
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Riccardo Ricco’s partner now positive for CERA

by VeloNation Press at 11:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Double Italian cyclo-cross champion Vania Rossi has tested positive for the third generation form of EPO, CERA, according to Italian Olympic Committee CONI.

“As a result of examinations performed by the Laboratory of Rome, a positive case was found,” it said in a statement. “The first analysed sample of Vania Rossi, rider of the Italian Cycling Federation, was found to contain CERA, in a control taken by the Doping Control Committee on January 2010 in Segrate (Milan), at the Italian cyclo-cross championships.”

The National Anti-Doping Tribunal has suspended Rossi, thus ruling out any participation in this weekend’s world championships in Tabor. A B sample analysis is expected and if this confirms the initial finding, she will face a lengthy ban.

Of significance to today’s news is the fact that Rossi is the partner of Italian rider Riccardo Riccò, and the mother of his son. Riccò himself tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, being caught using a substance that had hitherto been thought to be undetectable. He had won two mountain stages in the race.

He served a shortened ban due to co-operation and is currently training hard prior to his comeback with the Ceramica Flaminia team. His suspension will end just before the 2010 edition of Milan San Remo, on March 20th, and he has said that he will be aiming to win the race. Riccò has claimed that he is now riding clean.

His return has led to criticism from riders such as Mark Cavendish and the normally mild-mannered Marco Pinotti. While a positive test by his partner does not imply he is doping, it will inevitably raise further suspicions about a rider who, according to fellow professionals like Stuart O’Grady, had been taking banned substances since he was a junior.

Rossi was set to ride for the Italian team at the World Championships this weekend, but will now likely be replaced by compatriot Veronica Alessio.

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