Thursday, July 24, 2008

You Know You're Doping When...

You flee anti-doping officials. That's what two stage Tour de France winner, Riccardo Ricco chose to do when anti-doping officials were looking for a sample after the fourth stage on July 8th.

Pierre Bordry, the head of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), gave this description of the failed great escape, "When he knew he was going to be tested, he went off, and it is the escort who caught him. He found himself blocked off. There was a traffic jam of cars and he could not get through the cars."

The AFLD asked Ricco and his team, Saunier Duval for an apology. The AFLD decided to test Ricco everyday after his erratic behavior. Ricco was expelled before the start of the 12th stage after test results came back positive for EPO and his team quit the race. Ricco and fellow teammate Leonardo Piepoli were then fired.

One has to wonder what Ricco was thinking? If he avoided the doping officials in stage 4, would he have tested clean for the remainder of the race? Did he think officials and the media wouldn't be suspicious if he suddenly wanted to get another ride in after a grueling time trial? Here's a novel, inexpensive testing method: if an athlete flees at the site of doping officials, that counts as a failed test.

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