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Riccardo Riccò awaits the start of the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise.
Dutch team still feels justified in firing Italian earlier this year
Riccardo Ricco's former team Vacansoleil-DCM has raised its eyebrows at the news he has signed with another team, saying, “It seems unwise to take him under contract.” It was announced earlier this week that Ricco has signed with the Croatian Continental-ranked team Meridiana Kamen.
Vacansoleil had signed the Italian last summer. This year he was admitted to hospital with kidney failure and there are now investigations underway as to whether this was doping-related.
The team conducted its own investigation and severed its contract with the rider, citing “violation of internal team rules and other indications.”
Vacansoleil spokesman Frank Kwanten told AD.nl that he was “not really surprised” at Ricco's signing. “I would have been surprised if he had signed with a big team, but this was in line with expectations. It seems to me unwise to take him under contract.”
“There were surprised reactions when we gave him a second chance,” Kwanten continued. “Now there is an investigation into what happened during that second chance.
“But hey, we followed all the rules and this team is also doing so now. He may officially ride, but we still take the view that we had legitimate reasons to release him.”