Italian Riccardo Riccò was upset after being handed a two-year suspension for using EPO on Thursday. The 25-year-old had hoped to receive a lighter sentence for admitting to using the drug and cooperating with the anti-doping authorities. ''I'm very disappointed,'' he said according to ANSA. ''I was expecting more sympathy''.
''I made a mistake and it's only right that I should pay, but I can't talk now, I prefer to leave the matter to my lawyers''.
Riccò was given 18 months for taking EPO and six additional months for his association with Carlos Santuccione, who had been banned for life for working with athletes by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI). Riccò's suspension will last until July 30, 2010.
He will decide with his lawyers within a month's time if he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a reduced sanction.