Riccardo Riccò, formerly of Team Saunier Duval, may have his truthfulness tested once again. French newspaper L'Equipe reported on Thursday that the rider's Giro d'Italia anti-doping samples would be re-analysed after Riccò confessed to injecting himself with CERA, a last-generation EPO, prior to the Tour de France.
In front of the Italian Olympic Committee CONI, the 24 year-old said that he had taken the banned substance on Wednesday, July 2, three days before the Tour start. But he maintained that this was the only time he had cheated, and affirmed his second place in the Giro d'Italia was not tainted.
"I rode a clean Giro," he said. "I want to send a message to all of those who believe in me: before the Tour, I always won with my legs only."
Riccò's Giro d'Italia samples will be tested once again by the Rome anti-doping laboratory, which did not have the detection method for CERA at the time of the event, in May. Meanwhile, the rider had pointed out that of his ten anti-doping tests taken at the Tour de France, only two showed a positive result. "In theory all the tests should have been positive. The detection method is not efficient to a 100 percent, as the effect of the drug lasts one month," he said.
CONI is expected to pronounce a sanction on the rider some time next week.
On Thursday morning, Riccò's team-mate Leonardo Piepoli will also explain himself in front of the prosecutor. Piepoli, whose anti-doping tests carried out during the Tour de France came back negative, also admitted to using the drug.