Like this site? Help us to make it better.

'I prefer chemical doping to mechanical doping' says Riccardo Ricco

He’s currently keeping himself busy making ice cream for dogs…

Ever wondered where unrepentant doper Riccardo Ricco would draw the line? Motor doping, apparently.

From botched DIY blood transfusions to being caught red-handed trying to buy EPO and testosterone in a McDonald's car park, Ricco’s career was defined by drugs to such an extent that he eventually managed to land himself a 12-year ban.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, he has said that he nevertheless plans to return to racing when that ban expires.

"I'll be 40 when my ban ends in 2023. I'll be competitive. If I was training now, I'd be stronger than ever, I feel it. Some teams want me and if not I'd create my own team. Whatever, sooner or later I'll be back racing."

Asked if he was ever afraid of doping, Ricco replied: "I was only ever scared of being caught. That's why I always did less than I was told to. I was never scared of damaging my health.

"I got my doping from a person I trusted. The black market is huge and even the pharmaceutical companies play their part, but they're untouchable. I worked with Dr Santuccione – he was a great person. I never wanted to go with Dr Ferrari because I couldn't stand the idea that he could decide the results of races. Ferrari had loads of riders. He decided the classification."

So it seems safe to assume that should this mooted middle-aged return actually happen, we probably shouldn’t expect to see a reborn anti-doping campaigner.

“I think that chemical [doping] helps under medical control, even if it's called doping, and does less damage than the effort of riding the Tour de France on bread and water.

"I want to add that I prefer chemical doping to mechanical doping. At least you have the courage to take your own risks. Mechanical doping means it's a different sport. I'd never have been able to use it. I'd have felt like a shit."

So 2023 – that’s when he’ll be back. Make a note.

As for how he’ll keep himself busy in the meantime…

"I've now got an ice cream shop in Tenerife. I even make ice cream for dogs. Things are going well. Perhaps it's because I'm now working but I think I've changed. I like making ice cream but there's nothing like my love for cycling.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


therealsmallboy | 6 years ago
1 like

I admire his honesty. Bet he could throw so many current rider's names into the ring. He is quite nuts though, admittedly.

handlebarcam | 6 years ago

He's in his mid-thirties and still talking like an eight-year-old? He should forget about a return to cycling, and go straight into politics. I mean, it is not as if anyone will deny him the publicity, just because he is stupid and despicable, as this article and the current occupant of the White House attests.

Valbrona | 6 years ago
1 like

I once bought an ice cream from this weedy looking geezer in Tenerife and he asked me in broken English if 'I wanted anything stronger'?

A2thaJ replied to Valbrona | 6 years ago
Valbrona wrote:

I once bought an ice cream from this weedy looking geezer in Tenerife and he asked me in broken English if 'I wanted anything stronger'?

He makes them for dogs doesn't he? Your one luck boy going walkies there!  1

BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
1 like

If he comes back and someone wants him to ride for them who is anyone to criticise, he'll have done his time. The lifetime ban on LA is similarly ridiculous to the 12 year ban for Ricco.

There are many as worse not just in cycling but other sports who have doped (and continue to do so incl some big name starrts) and for one reason or another have being shielded/not caught.



Latest Comments