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Cyclist, banned until 2024, cited along with another rider after trying to buy EPO and testosterone in McDonald's car park...

Riccardo Riccò, banned from cycling until 2024 as a result of doping, is reported to have been caught red-handed by Carabinieri as he attempted to buy prohibited substances including EPO and testosterone in a McDonald’s car park in Livorno, Italy, yesterday afternoon.

Riccò, who has been riding gran fondo mass participation events since he was handed a 12 year ban in April 2012, was with another cyclist, former professional Matteo Cappè, reports the Tuscan newspaper, Il Tirreno.

However, the 31-year-old, who previously served a two-year ban after testing positive for CERA on the 2008 Tour de France, a race in which he won two stages, denies that he has done anything wrong.

"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said, denying that the drugs seized by the Caribienieri – 30 packages in all –  had anything to do with him.

Riccò and Cappè potentially face charges relating to illegal possession of performance enhancing drugs, and the two men they were allegedly buying the products from are reportedly both under house arrest.

They are healthcare worker Fabrizio Boccolini, aged 48, and 50-year-old shopkeeper Antonio Catarsi, both of whom have been accused of dealing in drugs for doping, and who could face between two and eight years in prison.

Searches of their homes uncovered 100 packages of drugs with a value of €15,000, some marked “exclusively for hospital use,” leading to suspicions they may have been stolen.

According to the Caribinieri, the two cyclists arrived at the appointment in a car – Riccò lives in Modena, more than 200 kilometres away by road – while Boccolini and Catarsi came by scooter.

As well as a bag containing the 30 packages of doping products, officers also recovered €1,170, which they believe was to be used as payment for the drugs.

The 12-year ban given to Riccò last year resulted from a botched attempt the previous year at a self-administered blood transfusion that resulted in him being hospitalised and sacked by his then team, Vacansoleil.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

34 comments

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allez neg [497 posts] 1 year ago
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Muppet.

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noether [96 posts] 1 year ago
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Now, who is brave enough to follow up on the leads?

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therevokid [911 posts] 1 year ago
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he did what .... !!!!
will this guy ever learn, oh wait just answered
that myself didn't I  41

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mrmo [2019 posts] 1 year ago
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how long till someone gets busted doing sportives in the UK...

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nscott [51 posts] 1 year ago
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His stupidity is fantastic.........could have been worse tho.......if he'd been tucking into a happy meal as well.

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russyparkin [570 posts] 1 year ago
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doping to win a plastic medal, ba ha ha heard it all now

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Notsofast [95 posts] 1 year ago
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^Gran Fondos have prizes.

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lookmanohands [119 posts] 1 year ago
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Bellend!

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Oscarzero [24 posts] 1 year ago
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Did he supersize it?

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andyp [1436 posts] 1 year ago
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'how long till someone gets busted doing sportives in the UK...'

why on earth would anyone get busted? SPORTIVES AREN'T RACES.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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Doping to win a gran fondo. Seriously. Christ.

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Hamster [94 posts] 1 year ago
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SPORTIVES AREN'T RACES.

Someone had better let the journalists know as plenty of reports on these events I've seen recently refer to "the race".

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Flying Scot [908 posts] 1 year ago
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Hamster wrote:

SPORTIVES AREN'T RACES.

Someone had better let the journalists know as plenty of reports on these events I've seen recently refer to "the race".

Easy to get confused...I have the etape caledonia 'race guide' here!

Timed, yet non competitive mass participation tack hunt?

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northstar [1108 posts] 1 year ago
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When the real cheaters get found out, it's time to reel out the sacrificial lambs...

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teamjon [27 posts] 1 year ago
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More of a concern would be whether he is now a middle man dealing to his friends in the peloton.

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Argos74 [372 posts] 1 year ago
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This is very wrong. So very wrong.

a) McDonalds. OFFS.
b) And he arrived by car.

Of course, if he had cycled the 200km there and back by back by bike, and done the buy in a restaurant or a cafe, it still would have been wrong. But at least be wrong in style.

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step-hent [718 posts] 1 year ago
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teamjon wrote:

More of a concern would be whether he is now a middle man dealing to his friends in the peloton.

By all accounts, he doesn't have may friends in the peloton...

The guy clearly has problems. Anyone who does what he has done, goes through the media vilification and then carries on doing it (at what looks like a significant financial cost) in order to win amateur races clearly has some issues to deal with. He was a talented rider - even without the juice, he could most likely win any gran fondo he entered, so it's clearly a long way beyond any form of logic/calculation.

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allez neg [497 posts] 1 year ago
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......but has he demonstrated incompetence in clipping in?

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geargrinderbeard [89 posts] 1 year ago
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In fairness it's probably better this than one of those American burger promotionytthings Macs are pumping out at present....

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badback [302 posts] 1 year ago
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IIRC McDonalds in Frejus was one of Lance Armstrong's favourite rendezvous points. Is there a trend here ???

Brings a new meaning to Happy Meal.

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farrell [1950 posts] 1 year ago
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I really feel sorry for the lad. He's clearly quite ill and I don't think anyone can help him. If pumping dead, old, rotten blood into your body causing yourself to have a kidney failure and developing septicemia isn't enough of a wake up call then I don't know what the hell would be.

His missus, Vania Rossi, has also tested positive for EPO so christ only knows what his home life is like.

I can't see this ending well at all, my gut feeling it that he is going to end up killing himself.

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andyp [1436 posts] 1 year ago
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badback wrote:

IIRC McDonalds in Frejus was one of Lance Armstrong's favourite rendezvous points. Is there a trend here ???

Brings a new meaning to Happy Meal.

Los Pollos Hermanos?

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Jimmy Ray Will [439 posts] 1 year ago
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Ok, to confirm, this is probably less about sickness and more about the financial incentives.

In europe, there are sportives fro tourists, and then there are Sportives. These are races, simple as.

There is no masquerading like in the UK, we are talking closed roads, prize money the works...

Ricco could earn mega bucks as a Fondo pro, and without drug tests, its a free for all... We all talk about 'why not just legalise drugs and its a level playing field'... well look no further, its being done.

What a chump.

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SuperG [102 posts] 1 year ago
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Agree with 'Jimmy Ray Will' Italian Fondo's (the front end with the pros) are another story....big money!

Still makes him a complete idiot....very sad

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farrell [1950 posts] 1 year ago
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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Ok, to confirm, this is probably less about sickness and more about the financial incentives.

He also still has sponsors. I'm not as naive as you appear to be suggesting.

Money doesn't change the fact indulging in almost suicidal self administered blood transfusions or pumping your body full of blood thickening, cancer causing chemicals completely unsupervised with no medical training is not the behaviour of a rational person.

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Yennings [237 posts] 1 year ago
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This guys seriously needs some help.

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Simmo72 [584 posts] 1 year ago
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Ba Da Ba Bow, I'm lovin' it.

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Simmo72 [584 posts] 1 year ago
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"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,”
more like
"I was in the right place at the right time buying the wrong stuff from the wrong people for the wrong purpose. I am a turd.”

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pwake [374 posts] 1 year ago
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noether wrote:

Now, who is brave enough to follow up on the leads?

It would be good to see some prosecution of the dealers here for once. That never seems to happen.
Catching Ricco doing something wrong is about as hard as catching a whale in a bucket, but catching guys selling drugs likely stolen from hospitals could maybe lead to some name naming.

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daddyELVIS [654 posts] 1 year ago
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pwake wrote:
noether wrote:

Now, who is brave enough to follow up on the leads?

It would be good to see some prosecution of the dealers here for once. That never seems to happen.
Catching Ricco doing something wrong is about as hard as catching a whale in a bucket, but catching guys selling drugs likely stolen from hospitals could maybe lead to some name naming.

Agree with this. The fact that Ricco was willing to drive over 200 km to meet these dealers suggests to me they could be well connected. However, I'm guessing nothing much will come of this in terms of the wider doping 'industry'.

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