I think this is what can be referred to as a complete lack of remorse … one of those things in American courts which causes criminal sentences to be on the longer side, rather than on the shorter side. Hopefully CONI (and perhaps even the criminal justice system for once, since doping is a criminal offense in Italy).
ROME — Italian Riccardo Ricco denied transfusing his own blood and said he wants to return to cycling after meeting Wednesday with the Italian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping prosecutor.
Ricco was rushed to a hospital in Pavullo after feeling ill on Feb. 6. The doctor who treated him reportedly told police that Ricco admitted transfusing his own blood, which he allegedly kept in his home refrigerator.
“I don’t remember anything about my recovery — I was more dead than alive,” Ricco said. “They just told me that it was a virus.”
Ricco’s lawyer, Fiorenzo Alessi, suggested that there was a misunderstanding produced by “the heat of the moment.”
“It’s rare that a physician would behave like that,” Alessi said.
If a tranfusion is proven, Ricco could face a lengthy ban, having already tested positive for the advanced blood-booster CERA after winning two mountain stages in the 2008 Tour de France. That resulted in a 20-month suspension.
Ricco was fired by Dutch team Vacansoleil-DCM and also is facing an inquiry from the public prosecutor in Modena.
Ricco had said he was done with cycling after reports of the alleged transfusion first surfaced.
“I’m still a professional cyclist and as long as inquiries are still under way I can race and I’m looking for a team,” he said Wednesday. “There are a lot of other riders in my position that race without problem. I started training again a month ago.”