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Riccardo Riccò awaits the start of the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise.
Team's relationship with Italian up for discussion
The Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team suspended Riccardo Riccò on Friday after conducting an internal investigation. The Italian Riccò suffered a sudden illness after a training ride on Sunday afternoon and was taken to the hospital where kidney failure was rumoured. Riccò then allegedly admitted to the doctors that he had performed a blood transfusion, and his team promptly followed up with promises to investigate the claims.
"Internal research results following the illness and rumors regarding Riccò have given the team sufficient reason to suspend Italian with immediate effect," read a statement by the team.
"Last Tuesday, the team started an urgent investigation following the hospitalisation of Riccardo Riccò. Three days later, the results of this study brought the team to the conclusion that an immediate suspension of Riccò was required."
The team did not provide any details or results of the investigation.
"The violation of internal regulations of the team and other indications justify this measure. Today, Riccò received a registered letter on this matter."
The Vacansoleil-DCM team indicated that their relationship with Riccò would be up up for discussion. "The team will, of course, follow [the] appropriate legal route on this matter. The team can not prejudge, but emphasizes that a zero-tolerance policy towards doping is practised."