Ricco's Funny

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Mar 18, 2009
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Mont Ventoux said:
Question: Why is it that CONI has to take down a cheat like Valverde and not the UCI or the Spanish authorities for that matter??
And why was it that poor Jan Ulrich paid so high a price , while other OPERACION PUERTO creeps continue to ride and earn a living??
That's another political merry-go-round. The Spanish judiciary ruled that the bags of blood could not be used in further legal or civil cases, and then CONI uses Valverde's bag of blood to match it to blood (and DNA) they collected while he was racing in Italy. So CONI has violated a Spanish judicial ruling to suspend him from racing in Italy.

The UCI or RFEC could not investigate the case because the Spanish laws at that time only stated that doping was illegal if they were harmful to the health of the athlete. The judge ruled that the bags of blood did not constitute a significant risk to the health of athletes and, because OP was exposed before the Spanish antidoping laws came into effect and these could not be applied retrospectively to the OP case, that all evidence (including bags of blood) could not be used in further cases. The UCI and RFEC respected the judicial ruling, but are/were waiting for appeals.

And to answer your last question: Who the hell knows? OP was handled so poorly by all the authorities that it just became a shambles. Some athletes were banned (Basso), some were implicated and not allowed to return to racing (Ullrich being the most prominent), some are obviously guilty and still racing (Valverde), some are racing on smaller teams and making much less money (Sevilla and Mancebo), and many are unemployed.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Flamme_Rouge said:
I'm sure we've all made mistakes for which we have deserved and probably received second chances. But Ricco didn't make a mistake he blatantly cheated. He even told us which stages he was going to win!
I agree with "mistakes" versus "cheating" and that is why I qualified mistakes with the parentheses of no matter how monumental. Doping is cheating, but it can also be a mistake from which athletes have the ability to learn from and correct their actions. Millar is a good example of the benefit of letting in dopers that have served their suspension: he is like an ex-smoker in that he speaks so strongly against doping. While most of the others that return are not so outspoken, we also get to see what their true talents are like and most are a shadow of their former selves. Very few are caught doping for a second time. So while doping is cheating, it is still a mistake IMO and, for a first offense, I agree with the two-year suspension and I also believe that they should be permitted to return to the peloton if teams will hire them.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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elapid said:
He does have a point because CONI is responsible for suspending Italian athletes, not the UCI. The UCI can appeal the length of the suspension, as it did for Vino's one-year suspension when he decided to not retire afterall, but Ricco's situation seems quite ridiculous. This may also have some bearing on the UCI's handling of the Valverde case because if the UCI is not going to respect CONI's suspension of their own athlete then they may be unwilling to look favourably upon CONI banning an athlete from another country.
Exactly, the case here is that the UCI has said it thinks the ruling body in the country of the offense is responsible for suspending athletes, in this case France. This challenges the conventional thinking but is it actually down in law somewhere or just how it was done?

Ricco's case to CAS will establish it once and for all. If they side with the UCI bad news for Valv/CONI, if they side with Ricco then he rides 4 months earlier and Valv is only banned in Italy and has a strong case for getting CAS to overturn that too.
 

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