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Riccardo Riccò: Two Year Ban

D_medium Riccardo Riccò has today received a 2 year ban from the Italian Tribunale Nazionale for antidoping. The Tribunale rejected the recommendation of CONI, which called for a reduction of Riccò's sanction to 20 months. The procura of CONI argued that Riccò had provided sufficient information about his suppliers and Dr. Santuccione to warrant a shortened sanction. The Tribunale disagreed. The sanction resulted from two violations: use of a banned substance (18 months) and consulting the banned Doctor Santuccione (6 months). Though the Tribunale handed down a harsher sanction than CONI had requested, it did grant Riccò a reduced sanction. The full penalty for both offenses would normally number 30 months: 24 months for the positive test, 6 for consulting Santuccione.

Riccò will miss the next two editions of both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, and is eligible to ride on 31 July 2010. In a brief comment to the press, Riccò said he was "very disappointed" with the Tribunale's decision, as he had expected a reduced sanction. "But I was wrong, and it is just that I pay," he said.