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Ricco's partner denies taking EPO CERA

Vania Rossi and partner Riccardo Riccò

Vania Rossi and partner Riccardo Riccò (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Riccardo Riccò's girlfriend has denied taking the banned blood-boosting drug EPO CERA, revealing she breast fed her baby boy just before undergoing the anti-doping test on January 10 that showed the positive test.

The Italian Olympic Committee announced on Friday that Vania Rossi failed a test for EPO CERA after she finished second at the Italian national cyclo-cross championships. Ricco tested positive for the same drug at the 2008 Tour de France.

"I can’t believe it. I’ve nothing to do with the accusations made against me," Rossi told the Italian La Repubblica newspaper.

"I’ve never taken banned substances and I especially haven’t done it now because I’m a mum and I’ve been breast feeding my baby boy since last July."

"People who know me and know my past, understand only too well that the whole thing is absurd. I’d never risk my son’s health for a bike race. That Sunday, while I was waiting for the control, I breast fed my son. If I’d taken CERA or anything else, I’d deserve to be put in jail."

"What happened? I don’t know but there are too many things that don’t add up."

Doping is illegal under Italian law and so Rossi could also face criminal charges.


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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.