The Italian anti-doping prosecutor has recommended a 20-month suspension for Riccardo Riccò. CONI, the Italian International Olympic Committee, is seeking the punishment after Riccò tested positive for a new erythropoeitin (EPO) drug, Mircera, during the 2008 Tour de France.
Riccò's lawyer, Alessandro Sivelli, will attend a hearing on October 2 to give his side of the story.
Mircera, or Continuous Erythropoeitin Receptor Activator (CERA), was thought to be undetectable in urine, but the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) had clandestinely developed a test for it prior to the Tour de France. Riccò had been targeted for additional testing after his pre-Tour blood values showed abnormal values.
The AFLD is examining the blood of other riders from this year's Tour de France who showed suspicious results on the urine test for CERA, but could not be declared positive.