French court finds Ricco guilty

Updated: June 29, 2010, 3:22 PM ET
Associated Press

TOULOUSE, France -- The lawyer for cyclist Riccardo Ricco says the Italian rider has been found guilty by a French court of a doping offense on the 2008 Tour de France.

The court in Foix in southwest France gave Ricco a two-month suspended prison sentence and a $3,700 fine on Tuesday after finding him guilty of "using a poisonous substance."

His lawyers had argued that since he had already been convicted in Italy on similar charges, he should not be penalized twice. Lawyer Annamaria Tripicchio-Rogier said the rider was leaving open the possibility of an appeal.

Ricco tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO, after winning two mountain stages on the 2008 Tour.

He has already served a 20-month ban and has returned to cycling with the Ceramica Flaminia team. The team is not taking part in this year's Tour de France, which begins Saturday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press