Yet another rider in this years Tour de France has tested positive and has been disqualified! Saunier Duval was notified just before the start of today's stage that their GC leader Ricardo Ricco, had tested positive for EPO. The team took immediate action and voluntarily withdrew themselves from the race and Ricco was taken into custody for questioning by French authorities.
Ricardo Ricco, who had won 2 stages in this years tour, reportedly is part of a group of riders being targeted by doping control and has had to submit several samples during this years tour. One of those samples came back positive for a third generation version of EPO, Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator (CERA). If Ricco's B sample comes back showing positive as well, Ricco will be stripped of his two stage wins, and will face a 2 year ban.
We'll keep an eye on developments and report what we hear.
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Links to news sites...
"Team withdraws after 3rd Tour rider tests positive
By JAMEY KEATEN
LAVELANET, France (AP) - The Tour de France was thrown into chaos again Thursday after Italian rider Riccardo Ricco became the third rider to test positive for the performance enhancer EPO.
Ricco's Saunier-Duval team withdrew from the Tour and suspended all of its activities after news of the rider's test for the banned blood booster. For the third year in a row, the showcase race has been marred by doping." Read more from the Associated Press...
"More scandal for Tour as Ricco tests positive
LAVELANET, France (AFP) - The Tour de France was rocked by a third positive doping scandal Thursday after Italian Riccardo Ricco tested positive for banned substances.
Ricco, who won two climbing stages last week, was taken into custody by French police amid scenes of chaos outside his Saunier Duval team bus before the start of stage 12." Read more from the AFP...
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