Ricco--"Yeah, I doped, but it was legal dope this time"
Ricco confesses, not to blood doping, but rather to an iron transfusion "with medical prescription".
Really, does he expect anybody to buy this? Did he practice holding a straight face in the mirror before he dropped this load of scat on the cycling world?
So now CONI is recommending a 12 year ban. Should be a lifetime ban, imo. An amazing talent, unfortunately with rocks in his head.
The guy is 29, what's the difference between a 12 year ban and a lifetime ban? It's not like he will win the Giro at 41. Unlike for example Di Luca who's still riding for a ProTour team despite more than one doping offence, Ricco will most likely actually face a career-ending doping sentence. He was treated harshly by journos, fans, other pros- some even said he deserved kidney failure. He almost certainly has no way back to the sport. Even if he was cleared or given a ban that would allow him to come back before he's too old, I'm sure he wouldn't find a place in any of the top teams. Which DS would risk bringing a rider with such history and personality like Ricco's, who would work for him or even want him as a teammate- most riders seem to either want to punch him or see him in prison? He's that kind of guy, a bit like Rasmussen, who people generally want to get rid of- I'm almost certain he's on the infamous blacklist now. It's really of little importance how long his ban ends up being, Riccardo Ricco who perhaps had the potential to challenge Contador can't bounce back, what's the point of discussing whether it should be 6, 12 or 50 years?
And pretty much every doper has a ridiculous excuse ready, I can think of many that are way more stupid than this one.
From the beginning it feels a bit like people find it easier to single Ricco out because he's such an unpleasant guy. But it will probably be better for him to move away from cycling, if only he can find something less destructive to do with his life.
I agree that 12 years is close to a lifetime ban. However, it also leaves open the opportunity for having it decreased, either through "good behavior", or by Ricco assisting in future doping investigations, such as he did during his prior suspension. A lifetime ban, without further appeal, could likely remove this possibility. Also, it would show that repeat dopers will be dealt with harshly, and maybe prevent some young riders from being willing to take the same risks in the future. If anyone deserves to be made an example of, I think its Ricco.
Oh, and he just turned 28, not 29. A small difference, I know.
Sorry, you're right about his age.
How can you get your ban shortened through "good behaviour"? And Ricco already had to appeal the original decision to have his ban reduced after 1st offence- apparently they were convinced he just told them things that were either unimportant or made up. Even when he succeeded with his appeal, he only got to come back 4 months earlier. I doubt that he has the knowledge (that he can share without really breaking the omerta) that would allow him to get away with considerably reduced punishment. Besides, doesn't this reccomended 12 year old ban already take into consideration his cooperation?
And it's exactly what I'm getting at, I don't agree Ricco deserves to be made an example of more than other dopers. And it often seems to me that people say this because he's an a$$. I'm not saying he deserves another chance- rules clearly state he doesn't and it probably wouldn't even be good for him. But I certainly don't like the way everyone jumped onto the hate bandwagon as if he's that much worse than others, deserves the harshest punishment and God knows what else.
Someone from his legal team once said that of course he thinks Ricco will ride again, "just look who's still in the peloton". I don't believe he'll be back but it was very true.
Many guys- from casual fans to journos like Kimmage- claim they want to fight doping because they care about kids that will take up cycling and get involved with dirty stuff. But when someone really needs help- because Ricco's problems seem to be much bigger than doping- there's little compassion and readiness to kick him out of the picture. What's the point of even fighting doping then?
He's facing up to three years in prison if convicted of genuine doping. He's trying to admit it -- and get everyone off his back -- without admitting it.