Ricco bust aided by drug maker: WADA
CANBERRA, Australia (AP)—Riccardo Ricco’s blood doping case on the Tour de France was uncovered because of a molecule planted in the banned substance by the drug manufacturer, World Anti-Doping Agency chief John Fahey said Wednesday.
Ricco, 24, won two stages before he was expelled from the Tour last week when his positive test for the blood-booster EPO was confirmed by the French anti-doping agency.
Fahey said Roche Pharmaceuticals placed a molecule in its product CERA— Continuous Erythropietin Receptor Activator—when developing the drug to help anti-doping authorities detect illegal use.
“I can’t tell you the details of how he was detected,” Fahey told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. “I can indicate the particular substance is called CERA … which is a perfectly legitimate substance to deal with anemia.