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Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 17:35 UK

Ricco criticises Tour drug tests

Riccardo Ricco
Ricco faces a criminal investigation in France

Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has admitted he should have been caught doping far earlier than he was during the recent Tour de France.

The 24-year-old was kicked out of the Tour after testing positive for blood booster EPO, but claims he had already slipped through the net many times.

"They made 10 tests in about 13 legs - two were positive and in theory all the tests should have been positive.

"Therefore the method needs to be checked," he said.

Ricco, who won two Tour stages before being caught and was also runner-up in the Giro d'Italia, made a public confession after appearing before the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor.

"I think I have made a good gesture for everyone to have admitted my mistakes," he told reporters, saying he wanted to rid himself of a "huge burden".

606: DEBATE

The Italian could face a two-year ban from cycling and also faces a criminal investigation in France.

Under new laws, he is liable for possession and use of drugs and could receive a maximum two years in prison and a £2,950 fine.

Ricco was sacked by his Saunier-Duval team, who also withdrew from the tour.

see also
Cavendish backs doping crackdown
18 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Spanish rider Nevado fails test
16 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Ricco wins as Kirchen takes lead
10 Jul 08 |  Cycling


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