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Wednesday 11, Feb 2015

  More Governments Need To Make Doping Illegal, Says WADA Chief

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Sir Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti Doping Agency, has called on world governments to criminalize doping. Reedie said acting in this way would play an important role to prevent current problems that are escalating and spilling over into everyday society.

In a WADA statement, Reedie requested for an escalation of preventative measures and said sport is now a hugely lucrative industry, and there is a real area of concern with drugs being counterfeited, illegally produced, trafficked, and distributed – and ultimately these drugs get in the hands of elite athletes and, increasingly, members of the public. He further added police will act and the scourge of doping can be prevented if governments can introduce relevant laws, and applicable penalties to combat this abuse of substances.

Reedie and WADA Director General David Howman were part of the Second International Conference on the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Fight against Doping last week that was co-hosted by the World Anti Doping Agency, as well as by others including UNESCO, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports, Science & Technology, and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA).

The WADA head also remarked there should be exchange of information between various organizations to ensure details gathered in one country can be of use to another. He remarked evidence is rife that athletes will go to unthinkable lengths to find shortcuts to success, and it’s now up to proponents of clean sport – be they anti-doping organizations, governments, public health organizations or even law enforcement agencies – to share information that stops prohibited substances from getting in the wrong hands.

Reedie also remarked doping substances are no longer just of use to elite athletes, but to high school students who want to increase their strength or the older generations who long for the ‘fountain of youth.’ He also said these types of substances are not approved and they have not gone through the required health checks and to put simply, we do not always know from where these dubious substances originate. The WADA chief added the internet means that these substances are increasingly easy to access, and that in itself is a concern and also remarked however the danger that these substances pose to public health has, in the partnerships the anti-doping community and pharmaceutical industry are now forming, a real answer in place.

Reedie also outlined the importance of the current cooperation between WADA and other anti-doping bodies along with big drug companies. In the past, these kinds of associations have benefited the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, and others to detect new products like the blood booster CERA. During the 2008 Tour de France, the UCI was able to identify Riccardo Ricco, Stefan Schumacher, and others for CERA use. The WADA chief said this kind of collaboration is essential and gave references about the former partnerships already in place with companies such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Amgen, as well as federations like the IFPMA [International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations].

Some countries such as France, Spain, and Italy have already criminalized the abuse of doping products. The World Anti Doping Agency is not seeking to criminalize doping athletes themselves, but rather those who facilitate their drug use.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: More Governments Need To Make Doping Illegal, Says WADA Chief

Monday 04, Mar 2013

  Riccardo Ricco’s 12-Year Ban Upheld

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Riccardo Ricco’s 12-Year Ban Upheld

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal of the Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò against the decision of the Anti-Doping Tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee that had imposed a suspension of twelve years on him, beginning on 19 April 2012, because of an anti-doping rule violation. The ban runs until April 2024.

The controversial Italian cyclist remains under contract to UCI Continental team Meridiana-Kamen but has been suspended from all competition until 2024. The former professional road bicycle racer from Italy joined UCI ProTeam Saunier Duval-Prodir in 2006 and won the Settimana Bergamasca.

An investigation into the banned Italian cyclist had revealed that he did perform a blood transfusion on himself on February 6 and was subsequently hospitalized with kidney problems. The cyclist had a bruise consistent with an injection site on one arm and asked the staff to inject him using the other arm, a nurse said. Meanwhile, the bacteriological analysis of the Italian cyclist’s blood disclosed an infection caused by a failed blood transfusion. The doctor who saved his life said Riccardo Ricco had confessed to having performed a blood transfusion on himself with blood that he kept in his refrigerator. The cyclist was suspended by his country’s national Olympic committee’s (CONI) anti-doping body and the ban imposed on the cyclist applies to events in Italy as well as abroad. Ricco, stating his innocence, said he injected himself with an iron solution but the claim was dismissed by experts who said it would not have produced the symptoms he was suffering from.

Nicknamed “Cobra”, Ricco won two stages at the 2008 Tour de France but was thrown off the race after a positive test for Cera EPO (erythropoietin) and was given a ban for 20 months. The cyclist appealed to the CAS on 18 June 2012 to request the annulment of the CONI Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision and argued that the proceedings before such body were flawed and that the Tribunal which handled the case was not impartial; Ricco also raised many procedural errors. His case was handled by a Sole Arbitrator, Professor Ulrich Haas (Germany), who considered that the arguments of Ricco were unfounded and that, in particular, he had failed to demonstrate a lack of impartiality by the CONI Anti-Doping Tribunal. Thereafter, the twelve year suspension was confirmed.

Riccardo Ricco was previously banned for doping at the 2008 Tour de France. In the past, Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli were sacked by the Spanish team Saunier Duval for “doping practices”. Piepoli was dismissed because of a “violation of the team’s ethics code” while Ricco tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO. The cyclist tested positive for the banned blood booster Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator (or CERA, a variant of Erythropoietin) on 17 July 2008 from a sample taken following the fourth stage, making him the third rider to test positive for this substance in the 2008 Tour de France after Moisés Dueñas of Barloworld and Manuel Beltrán of Liquigas. He later admitted to the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) that he had been taking EPO independent of the team in preparation for the 2008 Tour de France, and he accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to his teammates and fans.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Riccardo Ricco’s 12-Year Ban Upheld

Friday 20, Jul 2012

  Career-Ending 12-Year Doping Ban For Ricco

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The National Anti-doping Tribunal has banned Italian cyclist @Riccardo Ricco who was accused of giving himself a blood transfusion.

Born on 1 September 1983 in Formigine, Ricco is a professional road bicycle racer from Italy. In 2006, Ricco joined UCI ProTeam Saunier Duval-Prodir after two successful seasons as an amateur rider, during which he won the Settimana Bergamasca. On July 17, 2008, it was revealed that the cyclist had a non negative test for EPO, the Hematocrit boosting drug, following the Tour de France stage 4 time trial at Cholet. Riccò terminated his contract for Ceramica Flaminia in August 2010 and signed a two-year contract with Dutch Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team.

The request of Italian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping prosecutor was accepted by the Tribunal and Ricco was handed a career-ending ban of 12 years. The cyclist, however, maintains innocence and said he merely injected himself with an iron solution but a doctor who operated on him claimed Ricco had tried to give himself a blood transfusion.

Ricco ended up in hospital with kidney problems after the apparent transfusion attempt in February last year. Ricco, close to death, allegedly told the doctor that he had given himself a transfusion with blood kept in his fridge. An investigation revealed through bacteriological analysis of blood of Ricco that his infection was caused by a failed blood transfusion after which he was sacked by the Vacansoleil team.

The former Saunier Duval rider was found guilty of illegal blood doping. In 2008, he served a ban of two years for doping during the Tour de France in which he was found to have used the banned blood-booster Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator (or CERA, a variant of Erythropoietin). Ricco went on to win another pair of stages but subsequently tested positive for doping. He was later thrown out of the race and was fired by his then Saunier Duval team.

Tuesday 26, Apr 2011

  Italian cyclist expects leniency

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Italian cyclist expects leniencyThe Court of Arbitration for Sport has been approached by Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco to reduce a two-year suspension.

Ricco was penalized by the Italian authorities and banned from the sport by the Anti-doping Tribunal of the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) on October 2 after testing positive for CERA, a third generation version of banned substance EPO.

Ricco would only be able to compete again after July 30, 2010 if the appeal fails.

Friday 08, Apr 2011

  Italian cyclist hopes for ban reduction

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Italian cyclist hopes for ban reductionRiccardo Ricco, the cyclist from Italy, is hopeful that his two-year suspension will be reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Italian authorities handed down the penalty to the rider and Anti-doping Tribunal of the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) banned him on October 2 after he tested positive for CERA, a third generation version of banned substance EPO.

 

Ricco, the former Saunier Duval rider, will make it only after July 30, 2010 if the appeal fails.

Thursday 07, Apr 2011

  Bernhard Kohl falls to disgrace

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Bernhard Kohl falls to disgraceThe Silence Lotto team has decided to sack Bernhard Kohl after his sample tested positive to CERA, the new generation of the banned blood booster EPO, at the Tour de France.

The National anti-doping agency (AFLD) of France confirmed the positive sample finding.

It was revealed by the anti-doping authorities that a sample of Kohl contained CERA before and during the Tour after re-tests at a laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry.

Tuesday 15, Mar 2011

  Silence Lotto team to sack Kohl

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Silence Lotto team to sack KohlBernhard Kohl is expected to be sacked by the Silence Lotto team after he tested positive for CERA, the new generation of the banned blood booster EPO, at the Tour de France.

A sample of Kohl was found to contain CERA before and during the Tour after re-tests at a laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry.

The positive sample finding was confirmed by France’s national anti-doping agency (AFLD).

Monday 14, Mar 2011

  Dimitry Fofonov fired for using heptaminol

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Dimitry Fofonov fired for using heptaminolThe Kazakh rider, Dimitry Fofonov, has been fired by the Credit Agricole team after he tested positive for heptaminol during the Tour de France.

Fofonov produced a positive A sample following the 18th stage from Bourg d’Oisans to St Etienne that was won by Marcus Burghardt.

The doping incident once again highlighted the association between cycling and doping, which has grown over the last few years.

Sunday 13, Mar 2011

  Riccardo Ricco hopeful of reducing ban

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Riccardo Ricco hopeful of reducing banItalian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has made an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for reducing a suspension of two years.

The penalty was handed down by Italian authorities to Ricco and he was banned from the sport by the Anti-doping Tribunal of the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) on October 2 after testing positive for CERA, a third generation version of banned substance EPO.

The former Saunier Duval rider will only be able to race again after July 30, 2010 if the appeal fails.

Saturday 11, Dec 2010

  Return of Riccardo Ricco condemned by Cavendish

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Return of Riccardo Ricco condemned by CavendishRiccardo Ricco, the Italian rider who was ejected from the Tour de France two years ago and handed over a 20-month ban from the sport after testing positive for CERA, the third-generation form of the human growth hormone EPO, has returned to cycling.

His return was condemned by Mark Cavendish who said, ‘It’s like a parasite coming back into the sport’; Ricco may line up against Cavendish in Milan-San Remo race.

Cavendish said he is upset with the lack of regret for everybody and everything people like Ricco have damaged.

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