Riccò denied Giro d’Italia start
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Riccò denied Giro d’Italia start

by Ben Atkins at 7:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

riccardo riccoMore bad news greeted Riccardo Riccò on his return to the peloton as Giro d’Italia chief Angelo Zomegnan has announced that the Cobra’s Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce team will not be receiving a wild card invitation to the race. "In the Giro in 2010 we only want riders with a spotless past," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

Riccò had hoped to mark today’s return from suspension with a ride in tomorrow’s Milano-Sanremo, but the team was also denied an invitation by the organisers. Both races are owned and organised by RCS Sport, of which Zomegnan is head.

Despite his return being unpopular with a number of riders, Riccò has sworn to be a reformed character; releasing a statement of apology. He claims to have learned from his mistakes, and promises not to repeat them. “Henceforth you will know another Riccardo,” the statement read.

Despite these promises, RCS Sport is smarting from last year’s doping scandal around Danilo Di Luca. Despite his previous suspension after the “Oil for Drugs” scandal, Di Luca and his LPR Bakes-Farnese Vini team was invited to ride the Giro d’Italia. He finished in second place behind Rabobank’s Denis Menchov but subsequently tested positive for CERA, the third generation EPO; coincidentally the same drug that Riccò had been caught using.

"We have learned from this experience,” said Zomegnan, “therefore everyone who has been involved in a doping case must wait patiently for a Giro start."

This latest news will be a blow to the Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce team, which was also denied a start in last year’s Giro. Last time many believed that the team’s exclusion was due to the presence on the team of Filippo Simeoni. Despite wearing the Italian champion’s jersey, Simeoni remained unpopular in much of the peloton due to his outspoken opposition to doping and his testimony that he had previously been aided in doping by the notorious Michele Ferrari.


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