Riccardo Riccò reportedly caught red-handed buying doping products

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

by Simon_MacMichael   April 30, 2014  

Riccardo Ricco (picture- Vacansoleil).jpg

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.

32 user comments

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he did what .... !!!!
will this guy ever learn, oh wait just answered
that myself didn't I Applause

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [698 posts]
30th April 2014 - 20:05

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how long till someone gets busted doing sportives in the UK...

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
30th April 2014 - 20:05

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His stupidity is fantastic.........could have been worse tho.......if he'd been tucking into a happy meal as well.

posted by nscott [51 posts]
30th April 2014 - 20:10

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doping to win a plastic medal, ba ha ha heard it all now

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
30th April 2014 - 20:27

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^Gran Fondos have prizes.

posted by Notsofast [38 posts]
30th April 2014 - 20:41

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Bellend!

posted by lookmanohands [95 posts]
30th April 2014 - 20:56

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Did he supersize it?

They Made Me Do It!

posted by Oscarzero [18 posts]
30th April 2014 - 21:20

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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.

posted by andyp [860 posts]
30th April 2014 - 21:28

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Doping to win a gran fondo. Seriously. Christ.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3082 posts]
30th April 2014 - 21:30

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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".

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [72 posts]
30th April 2014 - 21:34

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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?

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [522 posts]
30th April 2014 - 21:49

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

Jonteam

posted by teamjon [16 posts]
1st May 2014 - 5:53

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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.

posted by Argos74 [286 posts]
1st May 2014 - 6:10

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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.

posted by step-hent [671 posts]
1st May 2014 - 8:54

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......but has he demonstrated incompetence in clipping in?

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
1st May 2014 - 9:03

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In fairness it's probably better this than one of those American burger promotionytthings Macs are pumping out at present....

posted by geargrinderbeard [34 posts]
1st May 2014 - 9:56

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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.

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [267 posts]
1st May 2014 - 10:13

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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.

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
1st May 2014 - 10:27

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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?

posted by andyp [860 posts]
1st May 2014 - 11:31

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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.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [255 posts]
1st May 2014 - 12:23

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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

posted by SuperG [52 posts]
1st May 2014 - 12:45

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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.

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
1st May 2014 - 12:52

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This guys seriously needs some help.

posted by Yennings [210 posts]
1st May 2014 - 13:02

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Ba Da Ba Bow, I'm lovin' it.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [283 posts]
1st May 2014 - 13:03

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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.”

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [283 posts]
1st May 2014 - 13:07

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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.

posted by pwake [288 posts]
1st May 2014 - 13:52

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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'.

posted by daddyELVIS [386 posts]
1st May 2014 - 20:48

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daddyELVIS wrote:
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'.

He at least could have ridden it.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3082 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 9:01

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notfastenough wrote:
Doping to win a gran fondo. Seriously. Christ.

You seem to be underestimating how seriously those on the continent take Gran Fondos. Some of the riders are proper, bona-fide, massively sponsored, cycling celebrities.

I've doen a couple and can honestly say I've ridden less competitive crits and road races here in the UK.

posted by ajmarshal1 [266 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 10:22

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wow what a twat

posted by Karbon Kev [670 posts]
5th May 2014 - 15:57

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