Tuesday 21 September 2010

Ricco/Rossi "family" hit the headlines again!

I don't know about you but I've been missing our favourite villain, Ricardo Ricco, recently. Apart from transfer gossip, his name's been missing from the headlines for too long. But fear not, because he's back in the news again. That didn't take too long!

Last week there was an easily missed story (here) quoting one of his new Vacansoleil team-mates saying that he was angry with our hero for not being a team player. Belgian rider Bjorn Leukemans accused Ricco of riding against him in the finale of the GP de Wallonie. According to Leukemans, Ricco rode with a chasing group to catch him on the final climb. Instead of winning the race Leukemans finished sixth behind Rabobank's Paul Martens, with Ricco coming in second. Was the ever-lovable Ricco getting revenge for Leukemans questioning before the race why the team had signed the Italian at all? He had told Sporza, "Riccò does not have a UCI point. I still wonder why the team would take a rider with no points."
Enrico Rossi
But things have taken an even more exciting turn today. According to reports from Italy, Ricco's extended "family" are back in the doping spotlight. His former partners brother, and Ricco's former Flaminia Ceramica teammate, Enrico Rossi has been arrested as part of a doping investigation. Police arrested six people, including Rossi, a nurse, a pharmacist and an amateur rider. However that appears to be the tip of the iceberg. Reports suggest they are targetting up to 35 people suspected of dealing in drugs and stealing from hospitals. Apart from the six arrested, the group includes other pro riders, trainers, doctors and gym members.

Where this gets really interesting is that the police operation is codenamed "Operation Cobra-Red". Think about that! Cobra is Ricco's nickname, while Rosso is the Italian for red. Ricco hasn't been named in the investigation so far but that codename has to be more than a co-incidence, doesn't it?

Having chivalrously left the mother of his child, Enrico's sister Vania Rossi, after she was accused of doping because he didn't want it to affect his career (really!!), Ricco would be facing a lifetime ban if he was to be convicted of any more doping offences. What would we do for stories then!

Read more herehere and here  

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