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Riccò attempted to evade anti-doping officials

By:
Daniel Benson in Jausiers, France
Published:
July 23, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:29 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, July 23, 2008
Disgraced cyclist Riccardo Riccò

Disgraced cyclist Riccardo Riccò

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French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) chief Pierre Bordry has claimed Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò...

French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) chief Pierre Bordry has claimed Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò attempted to evade his staff after the Tour de France's fourth stage. The Saunier Duval-Scott rider, who tested non-negative for EPO after his test on the stage, allegedly attempted to avoid a chaperone.

"When he knew he was going to be tested, he went off, and it is the escort who caught him up," Bordry said. "He found himself blocked off. There was a traffic jam of cars and he could not get through the cars."

Just days later Riccò was escorted from the Tour by French police after news of his non-negative sample broke. His Spanish squad withdrew from the Tour immediately and has since fired the Italian along with fellow stage winner Leonardo Piepoli.

AFLD staff demanded an apology from Riccò according to Bordry. The French agency said the rider's actions drew a target on his back.

"We asked him to apologize to the agency and the staff, which he did along with his team director," said Bordry. "We told him that, because of his behavior, we were now going to test him after each stage. He put a target on himself."

Riccò has denied using a third generation EPO which authorities believe the Italian had used.

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