Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

China censors Hong Kong protests on social media

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Islamic State group crackdown

Read more

DEBATE

Modi in America: India's Prime Minister on Triumphant US Tour

Read more

DEBATE

Hong Kong Protests: Pro-democracy Movement Gets Global Support

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Music Show: Prince goes funk, rock and sci-fi

Read more

FOCUS

Egypt's push against atheism and 'non-believers'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dealing with jihadism: Does Europe have a plan?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Colombian villagers caught between soldiers and guerrilla fighters, and a pilot whale massacre in the Faroe islands

Read more

Italian Ricardo Ricco admits taking EPO

Latest update : 2008-07-31

Italian rider Riccardo Ricco admitted before the Italian Olympic Committee's that he took the blood-booster EPO just before the beginning of the Tour de France. He initially denied having doped following his positive test.

Italian Riccardo Ricco admitted on Wednesday that he took the blood-booster EPO before this month's Tour de France.

Ricco, who tested positive in a doping control after the fourth stage of the three-week race, now could face a two-year ban after appearing before the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor.

"I came here and I have explained the error I made, I think you all know 13 days ago the position that I was in, I think I have made a good gesture for everyone to have admitted my mistakes," Ricco told reporters.

The 24-year-old also warned that testing procedures needed to be looked at.

"During the tour they made a lot of tests, they made 10 tests in about 13 legs, two were positive and in fact in theory all the tests should have been positive therefore the method needs to be checked," he said.

When results of the positive test came out on July 17, a French prosecutor said Ricco had denied any wrongdoing.

The rider was kicked out of the race and sacked by his Saunier-Duval team, who left the Tour as a whole.

Italian media have speculated that because he has now confessed, Ricco may receive a discount to the usual two-year ban for positive tests.

As well as sporting sanctions, Ricco is facing a criminal probe in France. Under recent French legislation, he is liable for possession and use of drugs and could receive a maximum two years in prison and a 3,750 euro ($5,845) fine.

Fellow Italian Leonardo Piepoli was sacked by Saunier Duval at the same time as Ricco despite not failing a drugs test.

He appears before the Italian anti-doping prosecutor on Thursday after team bosses said they were unhappy with his answers when he was questioned about doping. Piepoli has made no comment.

Ricco won two stages at the Tour before his departure and finished second in the Giro d'Italia in May.

Cycling has been rocked by numerous doping scandals in recent years with several Italian riders involved.
 

Date created : 2008-07-30

COMMENT(S)