IOC boss Rogge saddened by Ricco’s positive dope test

July 18th, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Lausanne (Switzerland), July 18 (DPA) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has said that he was disappointed to hear the Tour de France was yet again being overshadowed by the spectre of doping. “It’s sad, I had hoped that the new generation would bring a new attitude,” Rogge said in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) in Lausanne Thursday.

Rogge made the comments in the wake of the news of rising Italian cycling star Riccardo Ricco’s arrest after becoming the third rider on the Tour to test positive for the blood-booster EPO, a protein hormone produced by the kidney which stimulates the production of red blood cells.

The 24-year-old Ricco, who won two stages in this year’s Tour, was detected with traces of CERA (Continuous Erythropietin Receptor Activator) in his body after the fourth stage of the race, July 8.

“I had hoped cycling had understood that it was a time to change,” said Rogge, before adding that the news would have no impact on cycling’s continued participation as an Olympic sport.

“There’s no danger to cycling,” said the Belgian. “The athletes are guilty, not the UCI (International Cycling Union).”

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