Riccardo Riccò could make a comeback with the small Amore e Vita if accepts an offer from team owner Ivano Fanini to join the battle against doping.
Riccò is still awaiting the outcome of the police investigation into exactly what happened when he was rushed to hospital on February 6. It was reported that he told the emergency room doctor that he’d undergone a botched blood transfusion but he denied this after leaving hospital. He initially said he would retire from racing but has since had a change of heart, despite risking a life time ban if it is proved he again doped after serving a first ban for his positive test for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France.
Riccò visited Fanini at his used car showroom in Lucca on Friday and confirmed he would like to make a comeback.
“Everyone knows that Ivano Fanini has always fought against doping. It’d be a pleasure for me to have another chance with him,” Riccò told Tuttobiciweb.
However Fanini has made it clear that Riccò can only race with the small Continental team if he begins to work with Italian police in the fight against doping.
“It's true that we talked about a possible return to racing with Amore & Vita,” Fanini confirmed to Cyclingnews.
“Riccardo currently isn’t banned and could race tomorrow. But it’s a more complex situation than it seems. I’d like to help him but he’s got to agree to work hard in the fight against doping.”
“Riccò could have won the Giro and the Tour like Pantani did, but he ruined his career and made everyone turn against him. He’s accused of undergoing a blood transfusion but he denies it. The day he is proved guilty I’ll be the first to call for an exemplary sentence because it would mean he has continued to lie even though he survived thanks to a miracle. Until then I want to trust him.
“He’s a fragile person but now he knows what he’s got to do if he wants to race for us: Totally change his life and agree to be part of the fight against doping. If won’t do that, all I can do is wish him all the best and let him make a comeback alone.”