Riccardo Riccò ready to work with Aldo Sassi
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Riccardo Riccò ready to work with Aldo Sassi

by VeloNation Press at 10:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Italian will be collaborating with respected anti-doping doctor

Riccardo RiccoVacansoleil signing Riccardo Riccò has met with respected coach and anti-doping doctor Aldo Sassi to discuss working together next season.  The controversial Italian tested positive for CERA, the third generation of EPO, at the 2008 Tour de France when the drug was thought to be undetectable.  He served a reduced ban for cooperating with the investigation, and has returned to competition earlier this year.

La Gazzetta dello Sport's Luigi Perna first reported the possible collaboration of the two during the recent world championships in Australia, and the collaboration now just needs approval from Riccò's Vacansoleil team.

Sassi, whose athletes include Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas), met with Riccò at the Mapei Centre on Thursday.  After a short meeting the two decided they would like to move forward with the relationship, which is slated to begin in early November.

Aside from the obvious benefits of working with one of the sport's top coaches, Riccò's association with a doctor who works with riders on the basis that they undergo a full battery of anti-doping tests should help him to restore his credibility.  Sassi's involvement with Basso following his Operación Puerto-linked ban also served to improve his image.

Sassi appeared at the New Pathways for Pro Cycling conference while in Australia, and gave his thoughts on how to move forward in the fight against doping.  He made the trip despite battling serious brain cancer.  When he spoke he underlined the fact that he wants to work with riders who are committed to clean cycling, particularly as he said he doesn’t know how long he has left to live.


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