Vacansoleil's ProTeam licence to be assessed after Ricco affair
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vacansoleil's ProTeam licence to be assessed after Ricco affair

by Conal Andrews at 10:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Could team be punished for rider’s doping case?

Riccaro RiccoFollowing the hospitalisation of Riccardo Riccò over what appears to have been a botched blood transfusion, the UCI appears set to discuss the Dutch squad’s ProTeam licence and to deliberate if it should remain in the top ranking level of cycling.

Riccò brought a substantial amount of points to the team when he joined at the end of last season, and these went a considerable way towards helping secure the Vacansolei squad’s position as a ProTeam squad.

However, according to Reuters, UCI President Pat McQuaid has confirmed that a meeting of the governing body’s licence commission will be held in order to discuss the issue.

Vacansoliel’s situation is complicated by the suspicion which hangs over its other star rider, Ezequiel Mosquera. He tested positive for the masking agent Hydroxyethyl starch after finishing second in the Vuelta a España. The B sample has not yet been analysed, but the UCI is understandably wary.

It seems doubtful that a whole team should be affected by the Riccò news, though, unless it is shown that management had knowledge of what he was doing. However the issue may be the sporting level of the team without its two top riders; it must show quickly that it can still perform.

Fortunately it has been a good start to the season for the team. Romain Feillu won three stages in the Tour of the Mediterranean, and there have been a number of good second and third places in races.



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