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Riccò's house searched as part of doping investigation

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Riccardo Ricco (Vacansoleil)

Riccardo Ricco (Vacansoleil) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil)

Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) (Image credit: Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
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The Ceramica Flaminia team

The Ceramica Flaminia team (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Around 50 unidentified tablets were uncovered in a police search at the home of Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) last week, according to a report in Italian newspaper Leggo.

Riccò’s house in Serra Mazzoni near Modena was raided as part of a NAS anti-drugs squad operation that was carried out across central Italy. Officers discovered approximately fifty unmarked and partially crushed tablets, stored loose in a cabinet in Riccò’s house. The tablets were sequestered for analysis and identification in a laboratory in Perugia.

Riccò is currently racing at the Circuit Franco-Belge and his Vacansoleil team has said that it will await formal notification from the appropriate authorities before taking any action.

“I think it’s old news from a couple of weeks ago,” a member of Vacansoleil's team management told Cyclingnews. “At this moment he’s at Franco-Belge and racing. I want to wait for a formal statement from the police or investigation in Italy before we do anything because at this time it’s just rumours but we’ll do what’s necessary. Until then he will race in Frano-Belge.”

Riccò returned to racing in March after serving a two-year suspension for CERA use. Vacansoleil last week announced the signing of Ezequiel Mosquera, who today was revealed to have delivered a positive test for hydroxyethyl starch during the Vuelta a España.

Leggo also reports that police found stimulants and cortisone at the home of Donato Cannone (Ceramica Flaminia). Riccò rode for Ceramica Flaminia before buying out his contract and moving to Vacansoleil at the end of the summer.

Another of Riccò’s former Ceramica Flaminia teammates, Enrico Rossi, was arrested last week in connection to the investigation named “Cobra-Red.” He is also the brother of Riccò’s partner Vania Rossi. It is understood that around 35 people are under investigation as part of the inquiry, including six professional riders.