Argentine rider Richeze out of Giro after positive test

CSF down to eight riders

Argentinean Ariel Maximiliano Richeze, who rides for CSF, tested positive for doping last month and has been withdrawn from the Tour of Italy, his team announced Friday.

Richeze tested positive for an anabolic steroid during his victory in the fourth stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe on April 11 in the French city of Le Mans. He went on to win the seventh stage of the Tour of Turkey on April 20.

His withdrawal on the eve of the Giro means CSF will join the peloton with just eight riders.

"I received a communication from the International Cycling Union this afternoon," said CSF sporting director Bruno Reverberi.

"I haven't spoken to the rider," he added. "From what they told me, it's more or less the same product (stanozolol) as was used by Ben Johnson (who was disqualified after winning the 100m in the 1988 Olympic Games).

"Positive for a product of this type means the door."

The 25-year-old Richeze, who made his professional debut in 2006 for Reverberi's team, then called Panaria, last year finished second in two Giro stages.

© AFP 2008

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