One of the reasons I think modern doping in sport needs to be treated more harshly is that increasingly the doping products of choice are likely to be risky. Not only are many of the products biologically active hormones (such as EPO, growth hormone, testosterone), with unpredictable long term effects of the athlete, but it seems to me that practices such as blood doping are in themselves particularly dangerous.
Hot on the heels of news that Riccardò Riccò (who has only just returned from a doping ban) had collapsed with kidney failure while out training, comes further revelations that he’s to be investigated fro blood doping (Italian Police Investigate Riccò For Blood Doping | Cyclingnews.com).
These practices can have dangerous consequences, and it’s a shame that the Fuentes blood doping ring wasn’t fully prosecuted by the Spanish authorities.
I don’t know whether he has been blood doping and in any case I hope Riccò makes a good recovery, but I also hope that if he is found guilty of blood doping he gets the life ban he’d be due.
Update (0): Velonews reports that Italian media report Riccardo Riccò confessed to transfusion.
Update (1): Road.cc reports that the Italian Olympic Committee is to begin a Doping Investigation into sick Ricco.