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Riccò's partner positive for CERA

Vania Rossi and partner Riccardo Riccò

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

Riccardo Riccò's partner Vania Rossi has tested positive for EPO CERA, the Italian Olympic Committee announced via its website on Friday.

The Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI) carried out the test after Rossi finished second in the Italian women's national cyclo-cross championships on January 10.

CERA is the latest generation of the blood boosting drug erythropoietin.  Riccò tested positive for the same banned substance during the 2008 Tour de France.

Rossi recently gave birth to their child - a boy - but quickly made a successful return to cyclo-cross racing. On Thursday Rossi was not named in the Italian team for this weekend's world cyclo-cross championships 'for health reasons'. She is expected to be suspended by CONI before the analysis of her B sample is carried out.

Riccò is set to return with the Flaminia team this season when his 20-month doping ban ends on March 17.