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Despite claiming to have breaken bad old habits, according to Italian media Riccardo Ricco has been caught on buying doping products in the outskirts of Livorno.

Photo: Sirotti




01.05.2014 @ 08:06 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Riccardo Ricco, banned for 12 years for doping, claimed in the beginning of the 2014 season that he learnt his lesson and would have done everything possible in order to return to professional cycling, but apparently it was too hard to break old habits as, according to Italian media, the 30-year old rider has been caught on buying doping products in the outskirts of Livorno.


Ricco, who entered a professional peloton in the Saunier Duval outfit in 2007, despite all controversies, was once regarded the most promising Italian rider of his generation and won the young rider classification with two stages taken in the process at the 2008 Giro d’Italia, before testing positive for EPO CERA blood boosting drug at the Tour de France two months later, following his spectacular showing in the French grand tour event.


After good cooperation with authorities Ricco’s initial ban was reduced, so the Italian returned to competition in the Ceramica Flaminia outfit in 2010, joining Vacansoleil team in the second part of the same season. However, he won several events with the Dutch squad, including Tour of Austria, Coppa Sabatini or stage at the Giro del Trentino before being rushed to hospital following failed auto-transfusion with a botched blood from his own refrigerator.


After being caught on doping for a second time, Ricco was handed a 12-year ban from competition and will turn 40 by the time his suspension comes to an end, which means that his career in professional cycling is effectively over.


However, the 30-year old Italian claimed recently that he would do everything to return to professional cycling, but since there was no such possibility, aimed to take part in several Gran Fondo events and announced his record attempts on cycling biggest climbs, including Mont Ventoux, l’Alpe d’Huez or Galiber, planned for summer months of 2014.


Ricco also insisted that despite aiming to reach the top disposition ahead of his summer objectives, he intends not to use any of banned performance enhancing substances.


Apparently, breaking old habits turned out to be too difficult for the former Giro d’Italia best young rider, as according to Italian press 30-year old was caught buying doping products from two dealers in the northern outskirts of the Tuscan city of Livorno.


The Italian police specializing in drugs, health and safety (NAS), caught Ricco with two dealers from Livorno in the car park of McDonalds restaurant and 30 doses of doping products have been seized during the operation.


There was no comment from Ricco as the rider doesn’t answer his phone.



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