Riccardo Riccò has announced he intends to make a comeback, insisting he has a right to race just like other riders embroiled in alleged doping scandals.
Riccò was speaking in Rome after being questioned by the Anti-Doping Procura investigators for 90 minutes.
“I still feel like a rider and I want to race again,” he told the Italian ANSA news agency. “I’ve got nothing to hide. I’m looking for a team that will allow me to carry out my profession again.”
Riccò announced his retirement in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on March 12, just over a month after he was rushed to hospital with life threatening kidney problems.
“The support of the tifosi has made me change my mind and if I’m allowed, I’d love to race straight away,” Riccò said. “There are a lot of riders in the same position as I am that are racing.”
Asked if he was referring to Alberto Contador, he said: “Yes but Italian riders too. I’ve been training for about a month, now I want to find a team.”
Italian police are still investigating what caused Riccò’s illness, after the doctor who first treated him in the Emergency Room reportedly claimed that the Italian rider had admitted to undergoing a blood transfusion. Riccò again denied any wrong doing.
“I don’t remember anything about when I was taken to hospital. I was more dead than alive,” he said.
“They’ve only told me I had a virus. The doctor will have to explain what he said.”
Riccò’s lawyer Fiorenzo Alessi claimed that he had the right to race.
“If he makes a comeback it’s not a scandal,” Alessi told ANSA.
“The sun has begun to shine again for Riccardo and today is a good day for cycling. At the moment there isn’t a sanction that can stop him being a professional again.”