The Anti-Doping Tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) dropped the case for the second batch of positive samples from Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò from this year's Tour de France. The prosecutors cited the rules of the World Anti-doping Agency which state that in order for an anti-doping rule violation to be considered, the rider would have had to have been notified of his first offense before being caught for his second offense.
Riccò tested positive for the drug EPO-CERA based on results from a urine screening during the Tour de France, and was removed from the race and later sentenced to a two-year suspension. The French Anti-doping Agency, AFLD, later ordered re-testing of blood samples taken from a selected group of riders during the Tour using a new, more sensitive test for CERA. Two of Riccò's samples came back positive during that round of testing, but since the samples were taken before he was notified of his first positive results, the CONI accepted the petition from the prosecutor to close the case.
Riccò's sentence of eighteen months for the use of prohibited substances and six months for consulting banned for life doctor Carlo Santuccione, will end July 30, 2010.