Shamed Ricco to become a barman

Sat, 12 Mar 13:23:00 2011

Italian Riccardo Ricco, sacked by his Vacansoleil team after a botched self-blood transfusion, has ruled out a comeback as a professional rider and said he hoped to become a bartender instead.

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Ricco returned from a 20-month ban last year but was admitted to a hospital in serious condition last month after what doctors said was a self-blood transfusion gone wrong.

"It is not doping. I have not tested positive but I have already been judged," Ricco told the Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I don't want to ride (as a professional) anymore (...) The world of cycling makes me puke. I do not miss cycling. I am going to become a bar tender, I've always liked it."

Ricco, a flamboyant climber who finished second overall in the 2008 Giro, was kicked out of that year's Tour de France following a positive test for the blood boosting EPO-CERA.

Ricco is facing disciplinary proceedings from Italy's anti-doping body as blood transfusions to boost performance are illegal under Italian sports law.


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