Riccardo Riccò to return to racing with Team Meridiana

Controversial cyclist set to take part in this month's Tour of Serbia

by Simon_MacMichael   June 1, 2011  

Riccardo Ricco (picture- Vacansoleil).jpg

Controversial Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò, sacked by Dutch ProTeam Vacansoleil-DCM earlier this year following what was apparently a botched attempt at a self-administered blood transfusion, is set to return to racing after signing a contract with the Campania-based Team Meridiana.

Team manager Antonio Giallorenzo confirmed to the Italian website Tuttobiciweb that “Riccardo has been working with us for ten days or so, he’s calm, he’s signed an agreement and is training with great intensity.

“Today we will confirm the agreement and there will be the first pictures of Riccò with the Team Meridiana jersey. Our intention remains that of having him make his debut in the Tour of Serbia which takes place from 13 to 16 June.”

Riccò had joined Vacansoleil last September from Ceramica Flaminia, the Italian team he rode for after returning from a ban imposed after testing positive for CERA while riding the 2008 edition of the Tour de France in which he had claimed two stage victories while riding for Saunier Duval.

No action has yet been taken by the Italian authorities following the events leading to Riccò being released by Vacansoleil, when he ended up in hospital with kidney failure and reportedly told doctors that he believed his condition was due to a blood transfusion he had given himself before going on a training ride.

In recent days it had been reported that Riccò was set to join the Italian-backed, Ukraine-registered Continental outfit Amore & Vita, whose manager Ivano Fanini outlined five conditions that the 27-year-old needed to meet before joining.

Those conditions, reported by the Italian news agency ANSA, mostly related to putting his doping past behind him, but bizarrely, the first condition was that he “Remove the two earrings and the jewel that he has had inserted in a tooth” – presumably to minimise any risk of Riccò setting a bad example to the young riders on the team.

 

 

22 user comments

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Please say this is not true ! Surely he will end up dead.

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [200 posts]
1st June 2011 - 11:47

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A (self-inflicted) shot in the arm for Meridiana?

posted by richiecoops [40 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:06

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Oh no. Not this nightmare again.

Just legalize doping already. No one from UCI to EU to national governments to anyone else in charge of regulation gives a shit.

As well, how can the Contador issue not be resolved by now? Are we looking at 2 editions of TdF where the winner is nullified?

Pathetic.

Loki's picture

posted by Loki [9 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:12

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Did his job as a bartender fall through?

posted by Mat Brett [1722 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:18

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Unbelievable Surprise

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [189 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:31

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richiecoops wrote:
A (self-inflicted) shot in the arm for Meridiana?

Possibly more a case of "any publicity is good publicity" - hands up anyone who'd heard of them before today?

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7498 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:40

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Mat Brett wrote:
Did his job as a bartender fall through?

Good call, Mat - at least he should have a good supply of bar end plugs !

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [200 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:54

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I think it reads Merry Die in a Year ...

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [200 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:56

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Please could you purchase the rights to this photograph of Ricco, and use that on all future stories concerning him. I would much prefer to see an image of him looking like someone has kicked the shit out of him whenever I read about his latest boastful-comment/comeback/first-race-back/drugs-bust/hospital-trip/retirement/another-comeback/funeral.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
1st June 2011 - 13:49

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When will he be available for the Fantasy Cycling?

Laughing

djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [141 posts]
1st June 2011 - 15:13

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handlebarcam wrote:
Please could you purchase the rights to this photograph of Ricco ...
Quote:

Ah yes, he really never got the hang of blood doping.

Big Grin

djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [141 posts]
1st June 2011 - 15:16

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
richiecoops wrote:
A (self-inflicted) shot in the arm for Meridiana?

Possibly more a case of "any publicity is good publicity" - hands up anyone who'd heard of them before today?

Of course it is a case of publicity for a small time outfit but you're neglecting the larger issue.

When the Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 firm considers the merits of allocating £8 million/ year on sponsorship this kind of news is not helpful to the sport.

Loki's picture

posted by Loki [9 posts]
1st June 2011 - 15:29

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x

Loki's picture

posted by Loki [9 posts]
1st June 2011 - 15:29

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handlebarcam wrote:
Please could you purchase the rights to this photograph of Ricco, and use that on all future stories concerning him. I would much prefer to see an image of him looking like someone has kicked the shit out of him whenever I read about his latest boastful-comment/comeback/first-race-back/drugs-bust/hospital-trip/retirement/another-comeback/funeral.

Is this a picture of another botched transfusion?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [519 posts]
1st June 2011 - 16:52

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FFS! They should have their racing license revoked.

posted by 1961BikiE [80 posts]
1st June 2011 - 22:03

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Christ, what an *******. (I can think of several 7 letter word to describe him - can you?).

Did anyone else see what he told Bicycling magazine a while back?

"I don't think women should ride, it's too hard". This was in relation to his racing ex, Vania Rossi - the one with CERA in her A sample.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [560 posts]
2nd June 2011 - 10:09

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Sad

posted by roadiesean [68 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 13:43

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That is a face you just wouldn't want to stop punching isn't it.

What a (f)arse

posted by roadiesean [68 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 13:43

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He's back .... but is he welcome?

posted by Karbon Kev [652 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 13:54

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He really is the gift that keeps on giving. Best line about him came from ProCycling magazine I think where Ricco, famously a bit thick, was characterised as the only rider whose haematocrit was higher than his IQ.

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posted by dullard [140 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 15:20

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in one report he supposedly said after being questioned about his hospital trip and complications, 'anyone can get kidney failure' I suppose that's why we all have bloodbags in the fridge, just in case.

antonio

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posted by antonio [899 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 20:23

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I do wonder what you have to do actually be punished in this sport. Although Athletic's is little better - I noticed that Warren Gatling is back on the track this week after a 4 year punishment, oh sorry break. Drugs will always be rife, when you can make a comfortable lifestyle or millions even at the middle or lower end of a sport. However this guy seems special in both his ineptitude and the fact he has been caught twice yet he still rides. It has been noted he is famously thick - maybe he a is a match for the team managers that hired him this time. Who is thicker would be an interesting test.

posted by Ciaran Patrick [116 posts]
5th June 2011 - 19:49

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