Riccardo Riccò, the former Saunier Duval-Prodir rider who is due to return to the sport with Ceramica Flaminia next month after serving a 20-month suspension following his positive test for CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, has publicly dumped his partner and mother of his child, cyclocross rider Vania Rossi, after she failed a drugs test earlier this month.
Rossi was provisionally suspended by the Italian Olympic Committee, CONI, after testing positive for CERA during the Italian Cyclocross Championships last month, but has vehemently denied using performance-enhancing substances, saying that she would never put her and Riccò’s baby boy, whom she is breastfeeding, at risk.
Now, the Italian cycling website Tuttobici reports that in a move heart-warmingly timed just ahead of Valentine’s Day, Riccò has separated from Rossi, saying "I am disappointed in my companion and there can be no rapprochement until Vania demonstrates her complete innocence from the accusations that have been leveled against her.”
Given his own suspension, Riccò’s statement has been greeted with disbelief in the cycling world, with Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen responding to the news on the social networking site Twitter with the words “what a f*cking hypocrite,” accompanied by the hashtag “justdon'tcomebackupieceofshit.”
The Katusha rider subsequently said he would “try to be more eloquent + less foulmouthed in future,” but added that “some things need to be said a certain way,” and that it “seems we all agree anyway.”
Meanwhile, cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has confirmed that 32-year-old Italian pro Eddy Ratti, who was due to ride for the De Rosa-Stac Plastic Professional Continental team this season, has been provisionally suspended after races of EPO were found in an out-of-competition test taken in January.
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.