Riccò officially suspended by Italian antidoping tribunal on doping charges
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Riccò officially suspended by Italian antidoping tribunal on doping charges

by Shane Stokes at 11:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Rider will face full enquiry

Riccardo RiccoControversial Italian rider Riccardò Riccò is facing a very uncertain future in the sport after being suspended today by the National Anti-Doping Tribunal [TNA].

In a statement on the website of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), it said that the decision was made after a claim against the rider was lodged by the Office of the Anti-doping prosecutor. This has been done on the grounds of the ‘use or attempted use of prohibited substances or methods.’

It stated that the ruling made earlier this week by the Italian cycling federation FCI was also taken into account. The FCI said then that it was temporarily sidelining Riccò on health grounds.

As a result, the TNA said that it had decided to ‘immediately take the steps to suspend, as a precautionary measure, the cyclist Riccò from any sporting activity.’

Riccò recently signed a deal with the small Meridiana-Kamen team and was planning to compete in the Tour of Serbia, starting Monday.

He hasn’t raced since being hospitalised in February in a very serious condition due to reported kidney failure. At the time it was reported that Riccò had admitted to transfusing blood which had been stored in his refrigerator for 25 days.

He’s since denied confessing to doctors, and said that he had kidney problems completely unrelated to doping.

An investigation was opened, but stalled when medical expert professor Giovanni Beduschi died suddenly last month due to a heart attack. It was reported this week that things had started moving forward again, with the prosecutor of Mondena sending the dossier to the anti-doping prosecutor with CONI.

A number of medial experts are thought to be examining his medical file.

Speaking to VeloNation earlier this week, UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said it was up to the national federation and others to take the first step.

“We know that this rider is implicated in an investigation on a national level but it is impossible at the current time to anticipate the outcome,” he stated. “The UCI will monitor the development of this situation in order to be ready to take all the relevant action, if necessary.”

Riccò previously tested positive in the 2008 Tour de France. He served a reduced ban and returned to racing last year.

If he is proven to have received a blood transfusion, he is facing a possible lifetime ban from the sport.


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