LAVELANET, France – The Saunier-Duval team has withdrawn from the Tour de France after Italian rider Riccardo Ricco tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO.
Pierre Bordry, the head of the French anti-doping agency, said Thursday that Ricco had tested positive for the performance enhancer after the fourth stage, a time trial in the western town of Cholet.
Ricco, who was ninth overall and had won two of the 11 stages in this year's race, was booed by spectators as he was taken off the Saunier-Duval team bus by police ahead of Thursday's 12th stage. Ricco was runnerup in the Giro d'Italia earlier this year.
It was the third doping case at this year's Tour de France, and came a day after Spanish rider Moises Duenas Nevado also was busted for using EPO.