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

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.

 

 

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.

22 comments

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timbola [247 posts] 5 years ago
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Please say this is not true ! Surely he will end up dead.

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richiecoops [40 posts] 5 years ago
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A (self-inflicted) shot in the arm for Meridiana?

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Loki [9 posts] 5 years ago
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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.

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Mat Brett [630 posts] 5 years ago
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Did his job as a bartender fall through?

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cavasta [216 posts] 5 years ago
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Unbelievable  13

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Simon_MacMichael [2467 posts] 5 years ago
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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?

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timbola [247 posts] 5 years ago
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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 !

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timbola [247 posts] 5 years ago
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I think it reads Merry Die in a Year ...

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handlebarcam [803 posts] 5 years ago
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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.

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djcritchley [181 posts] 5 years ago
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When will he be available for the Fantasy Cycling?

 21

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djcritchley [181 posts] 5 years ago
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Please could you purchase the rights to this photograph of Ricco ...

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

 4

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Loki [9 posts] 5 years ago
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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.

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Loki [9 posts] 5 years ago
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x

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 5 years ago
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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?

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1961BikiE [254 posts] 5 years ago
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FFS! They should have their racing license revoked.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 5 years ago
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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.

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roadiesean [72 posts] 5 years ago
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 2

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roadiesean [72 posts] 5 years ago
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That is a face you just wouldn't want to stop punching isn't it.

What a (f)arse

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 5 years ago
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He's back .... but is he welcome?

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dullard [140 posts] 5 years ago
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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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antonio [1134 posts] 5 years ago
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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.

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Ciaran Patrick [116 posts] 5 years ago
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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.