By Stephen Barry
Francesco Reda may not be a household name but he has few fans on these shores.
The Italian cyclist won the opening stage of this year’s An Post Rás but was thrown out of the race a day later for holding onto his team car while returning to the peloton.
As if cheating alone wasn’t bad enough, Reda compounded things by branding the officials as having “the stench of shit Irish sheep,” a story first broken
Francesco Reda's reaction to being DQ'd from the Rás. His tweet has since been deleted. pic.twitter.com/YTKv4JURfL— Cillian Kelly (@irishpeloton) May 18, 2015
Although, to be fair, Reda did apologise for the angry comments, he has only gone and cheated again.
The seemingly compulsive cheater now faces a potential lifetime ban from cycling, having tested positive for a variant of EPO in a sample taken at the Italian Championships on June 27th.
Reda was also banned last year, having been found guilty of evading a doping test, and was only eligible to cycle in the Rás after his two-year suspension was shortened, after giving evidence to a doping investigation commission.
Reda has yet to post a reaction on Twitter and will have to await the outcome of testing on his B-sample.
Yet his likely ban could mean an extra honour for Lukas Postlberger, who finished second to Reda in stage one of the Rás and went on to win the overall competition.
Francesco Reda positive for PRO - will Elli and his team apologise for the abuse they gave me for writing about his background at Ras?— Shane Stokes (@SSbike) July 15, 2015
To say that Reda is Ireland’s least favourite cyclist may be a big call, but having been caught cheating three times in two years and insulting the people and sheep of the nation, there is a strong case to be made.