Riccardo Ricco Banned for 12 Years

Cyclist became ill after blood transfusion

Riccardo Ricco

Riccardo Ricco     Photo: Enrico Siboni/Wikimedia

Italy's doping tribunal on Thursday banned rider Riccardo Ricco for 12 years following an alleged 2011 blood transfusion gone bad, his second major brush with anti-doping authorities since 2008. Ricco, 28, became ill in February 2011 after what doctors say was a self-administered attempt at blood doping. At the 2008 Tour de France, during which he won two mountain stages, Ricco tested positive for the synthetic blood booster CERA and was suspended for 20 months. Ricco maintains that he injected himself only with iron.

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