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Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 15:20 UK

Spanish team sack Ricco & Piepoli

Riccardo Ricco
Ricco left the Tour de France under police guard

Spanish team Saunier Duval have sacked Italians Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli for "doping practices".

The team withdrew from the Tour de France after Ricco, 24, tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO.

The 37-year-old Piepoli was dismissed because of a "violation of the team's ethics code".

"(Team manager) Mauro Gianetti has lost faith in them and decided to fire them from the team," said Saunier Duval spokesman David Garcia.

"(Gianetti) did a personal investigation and consequently lost faith in Ricco but also in Piepoli because of a violation of the team's ethics code," a statement said.

"As a result, Mauro Gianetti immediately fired these two riders."

Ricco won two stages on this year's Tour but left under a police escort on Thursday after it emerged he tested positive following the fourth-stage time trial.

It prompted the entire team to then pull out of the race prior to Thursday's 12th stage.

Piepoli did not fail a doping control while he was at the Tour.

He won the prestigious 10th stage to the summit finish of Hautacam in the Pyrenees.



see also
Cavendish backs doping crackdown
18 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Spanish rider Nevado fails test
16 Jul 08 |  Cycling


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