UPDATED: UCI says Croatian federation refused licence for controversial Italian
Riccardo Ricco has not received a licence from the Croatian cycling federation, despite reports claiming he had the licence. The Spanish media had reported that he was planning to ride with the Continental-ranked Meridian Kamen team.
UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews that “Ricco is not domiciled in Croatia, and the national federation informed the UCI that the therefore refused to issue a licence for him.”
BiciCiclismo.com reported that Ricco now has licence number 2787. He announced last June that he had signed with Meridian Kamen, but was subsequently given a temporary suspension. However, he is not long provisionally suspended in Italy, Carpani said.
The controversial Italian has a hearing scheduled with the national anti-doping tribunal next week, February 3. The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) has already recommended that he be suspended for 12 years.
Ricco was rushed to hospital in critical condition last February, allegedly saying he had given himself a blood transfusion. He later denied saying that, and even later claimed that he had given himself an iron solution transfusion.
If he is found to have violated the anti-doping regulations, it would be his second violation. He previously served a 20-month ban after testing positive for EPO at the 2008 Tour de France.