UCI reduces Riccò's suspension back to 20 months

Italian Riccardo Riccò, 26

Italian Riccardo Riccò, 26 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The International Cycling Union (UCI) reduced Riccardo Riccò's doping suspension from 24 to 20 months today, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The sport's governing body followed the decision made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in March.

Italy's Riccò tested positive for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) CERA July 8 at the 2008 Tour de France. The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) announced the result on July 17, after he had won two stages, Super-Besse and Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

The CONI gave Riccò a two-year suspension in October 2008. He appealed the length to the CAS, which reduced the suspension to 20 months. His suspension ends March 18, 2010.

The UCI said on July 30 this year that it would side with the AFLD and not allow Riccò to race for 24 months, meaning he could not return until July 18, 2010. The UCI had decided that the CONI lacked jurisdiction when it issued its 20-month suspension.

Riccò signed a contract through 2011 with Italian team Ceramica Flaminia in June. He will now be able to return to racing at the Italian one-day classic, Milano-Sanremo, on March 20.

He will also be eligible to race the 2010 Giro d'Italia. He won two stages and finished second overall in the 2008 edition.

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