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Thumbs up for Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil)
Banned Italian says 48 riders were on a list
Riccò was in conversation with the account of Italian cycling magazine Cycling Pro in response to a report made by L’Equipe that Laurent Jalabert allegedly returned a positive test for EPO at the 1998 Tour de France.
The controversial Italian said via his twitter account:
"Also four riders came out as positive for EPO at the 2008 Tour when in fact 48 were on the list…"
Riccò, Stefan Schumacher, Leonardo Piepoli and Bernhard Kohl all returned positive tests for CERA at the 2008 Tour.
Riccò's career ended when he was rushed to hospital in February 2011 after apparently transfusing his own blood, which he had kept in his fridge at home. Doctors saved his life, reportedly saying they "pulled him back from the brink of death."
Riccò has always denied he transfused his own blood, claiming his problems were caused by taking iron supplements, but he was banned by the Italian Olympic Committee's Anti-doping Tribunal in 2012. He was given a 12-year ban because it was his second doping offence. In 2008, he tested positive for the banned blood booster CERA after winning two stages at the Tour de France. He was arrested by French police during the race and given a 20-month ban.
He made a comeback in 2010 with the Flaminia team and then joined Vacansoleil in August of that year. He was sacked by the team in February 2011, a few days after being rushed to hospital.