Disgraced Ricco placed under investigation

Other News Materials 18 July 2008 21:31 (UTC +04:00)

Suspected drug cheat Riccardo Ricco was placed under investigation by French prosecutors on Friday in connection with a positive doping test for a variant of the blood booster EPO at the Tour de France, dpa reported.

The Italian Ricco, 24, faces criminal charges over use of toxic substances. Doping is a criminal offence in France.

Some news reports said that he could also be in trouble for possession of forbidden substances. Police raided his room on Thursday after the news of the positive test for the two-time Tour de France stage winner, but have not said whether they found anything illegal.

Ricco was on Friday also kicked out of the Saunier-Duval team over the incident, along with team-mate Leonardo Piepoli.

Preliminary charges were also filed, on Thursday, against Spanish rider Moisles Duenas, who was also caught using EPO and found to have been in possession of doping substances.