Riccò comes clean

Or as clean as he can at this point.

The 24-year-old Riccò, who won two stages at the Tour before exiting the race for testing positive for a new product known as Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator (CERA), was called before a CONI panel on Wednesday.

“Speaking to the anti-doping prosecutor, I took full responsibility for my actions,” Riccò told ANSA. “Prior to the Tour, I made a mistake; I took a product that everyone was talking about.”

Riccò said he made the decision to dope independently and took the drug outside of the auspices of his team.

“It was my error alone and because of this I refused the option to have my B sample tested,” said Riccò. “My thoughts are with my team because of me some could have lost their jobs.
Source: velonews.com

I have to agree with him here:

While Riccò’s positive was hailed a sign of the rigor of the Tour’s testing protocol, the rider said he wasn’t convinced.

“During the Tour they took a lot of samples (from me), they made 10 tests in about 13 stages, two were positive and in fact in theory all the tests should have been positive therefore the method needs to be checked,” he said.

In theory, he should have lit it up like a fucking Christmas tree with each and every test.

In theory anyway.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

15 thoughts on “Riccò comes clean

  1. he’s still a litte douche. And that second place in the Giro??? Hmmmm… His excuse is about as good as Basso’s…I wasn’t going to the Tour until last minute so I doped. Sure buddy. That’s as rich as saying, ‘Oh, those bags of my blood? I was considering doping. It was an afterthought’

  2. the test is broken, that’s clear.
    the press is broken, that’s clear too. johan was on VS the whole week while gusev was booted from astana for ‘abnormalities’, yet no one bothered to mention that that might point to the logic in barring his team from the tour – bullshit. ricco and pipoli were roomies yet now he ‘did it on his own’. right. suddenly cancellara is a mountains ace and super domestique??? so many questions, and so much crackhead adoration from the professional bullshit squad in the press room.

  3. Guys-

    The tests are difficult. In most cases, especially for new tests, full-up GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy) is required. These are extremely expensive and fussy instruments and the tests cost a lot to run, hundreds of dollars a pop. (Some of the tests, again, especially new ones, may use LC-MS, an even fussier instrument.) There tend to be a whole slew of interfering molecular fragments is the spectrum of interest and sorting them out can invlolve expensive and fussy sample preparation techniques. Detection limits are required to be in the nanogram range, or even picograms. In the case of CERA, the test was apparently developed by the company that designed the drug. They do this partly to serve organizations like WADA and partly as a matter of course in trying to figure out what molecule is doing what in the patient. And of course, the doctors doping the athletes may try to add masking agents to further confuse test results.False positives are a problem. I reckon the testers err on the side of caution and throw away anything that’s not bulletproof. Perhaps a 20% hit rate is all they can get at this point. There is value in catching even one cheater and maybe giving the others a scare.

    I see two separate issues with “doping.”

    One is the cheating aspect. There need to be rules and procedures in place and cheaters should be sanctioned. That’s why they have referees in ball-and-stick sports.

    The second is murkier. Are the doped athletes really causing harm to themselves? As another poster here recently pointed out, the alternative for some of these guys is laying bricks all week and a criterium on the weekend, first prize 100 euros. If a guy can attain superstar performance without hurting himself, then at what point should doping even be against the rules? Perhaps a rigorous, low dosage-level EPO program is simply the best way for cyclists to train. Let’s face it, superstar pro athletes in every big money sport are doping. Most of those leagues simply do a better job of “protecting” the athletes than cycling. If you think your favorite baseball (whatever) player is clean… well, hold that thought. Oh, and enjoy the Olympics as you whistle past the graveyard.


  4. When a lone guy can penetrate the doping defenses as far as this douchebag did it seems clear to me that teams and riders with the resources to “do it right” so to speak still have little to fear.

    Congratulations to me for not getting even mildly interested in this year’s Tour. Except for this, of course. I’m reasonably certain that she’s clean.

  5. The validity of certified testing is very important…to people selling tests.

    Sign up for the new course at BSU,
    Sports Epistemology;
    How do you know they are clean, and what is clean, anyway?

    Ricco has got legs & spleen, nice to see a little bit of backbone, too.

    Since blood @ urine tests aren’t working, they could move to psychics, lie detectors and phrenologists, to go for a lower error rate, and enhance the respectability of the sport. Perhaps get Homeland Security and Putin’s new KGB to vouch for them on the basis of phone records.

  6. I thought the referees were the folks in the red cars. Are the dopers harming themselves? Go watch Bigger Faster Stronger, or look up cycling deaths – there’s a list that’s way too long of racers dropping from irregular heart rates and other anomalies of blood manipulation. Then ask that again. There’s a ton of product out there that can enhance performance, and some of it isn’t so safe. If it’s not on the list is it still doping? Cocaine and amphetamines were legal once, in our twisted world. So was black tar. There’s new pharma dedicated to saving lives by boosting red and white cels, increasing recovery ratios and reducing fatigue. This stuff saves lives in the terminal velocity of cancer victims; side-effect making healthy folks faster, younger, better. It’s hard not to think top teams top off to that magic number of 50 by any means necessary. Sure the tests are flawed, the sport is flawed – just like sticks and balls. It’s all questionable, ain’t it? They’ve had gender testing as a result of hormone and steroid doping in the Olympics since the late 60’s fer cripesake. Still fun to watch and perhaps the new spectator thrill is guessing the drugs game. If Ricco was tested 10 times and there was only one positive, stands to reason that at least a handful of others weren’t caught. If no one in the main-stream sports press is asking the questions the bloggers are asking, does that make it not relevant? Why did the French hero drop out so early? Why did the Quick-Step strongman step off before Italy? Why not ask Johan about Gusev? Why not point out the absurdity of riders running from dope controllers on camera? If the blogosphere has these questions, why not Phil and Paul and the rest? Oh, nothing to do with money, sponsorship, side bets, on-line gambling and backroom deals? Maybe not.

  7. Na, after reading the velonews report, Uncle Ricco is all good. At the very least, he’s not pulling a “Floyd” and drawing this shit out over a few years. I respect anyone that can come clean like that.

  8. sumadis-

    You make lots of sense, as usual.

    I still think the point (made originally by someone else here) is valid: some guys would rather be heroes for a few years and die young, than “do the right thing,” and lay bricks all week and race for 100 euros on the weekend.

    At least here in the U.S., it’s like that; you’re “free” to do stupid shit. That’s why crazy homeless old ladies tragically freeze to death on city streets every winter- no one forces them to stay inside when it’s cold. And while the list of athletes wrecked by years of steroid abuse is long, what about the list of guys who do a little, for a few years, and retire with a handful of statues and a few memories of their glory days? Again, setting aside the issue of cheating, how wrong is this? Look at runners- some guys pound pavement for years and can scarcely walk by the time they’re fifty. Is it society’s job to tell them they can’t harm themselves by over-training? Murky issues.


  9. I am so fucking tired of everybody shitting on cycling. If you hate the dopers don’t follow the sport. If you hate the Tour don’t watch it. Go buy your hipster pbr, your trucker hats, grow your beards out, cut your jeans off to that perfect length right at your knee and stop worrying about pro-cycling.

    Everybody rips clean cyclists when they lose and rips dirty cyclists when they are caught cheating. Fast forward to 2009 and you will read comment much like the one below:

    How many times is Hincapie going to try Roubaix? Every year we are forced to cheer for this chump. Give it up George, you are never going to get the w.

  10. Punar, you’re kind of upset. Maybe you need a PBR & some quality time with your cat. Doping is part of the deal and therefore, part of the discussion. Get over yourself.

  11. punar,

    I HATE DOPERS and I watch the tour, screw you.

    I HATE DOPER SUPPORTERS, screw them.

    I HATE DOPE SMOKERS that confuse smoking weed or whatever else they do with a reason to support people using PEDs.

    I love the fact that Floyd has ruined his life…to me that is part of the entertainment. To watch some a-hole get hung out to dry by all his buddies then make an ass of himself for years is just good entertainment.

    And the all time topper…the tards that support people who challenge science with arrguments like “vanishing twins”.

  12. it was either that or dowsing.

    Hey, Mean Green is North Texas. MV?

    Hate is best saved for genocide, traffic, the enemies of civilization, and bad videos.
    Doping is a drag; it’s a sport, y’all.
    Save hate for loved ones and real life.