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Reported confession relates to incident in February that put suspended rider in hospital

Riccardo Riccò has reportedly admitted undertaking a self-administered blood transfusion in February this year, leading to his admission to hospital with suspected kidney failure following a training ride.

The website of Italian cycling magazine Tutto Bici, citing the news agency ANSA, said today that Riccò, who was subsequently sacked by his Vacansoleil-DCM team, made the confession last week to the anti-doping prosecutor at the Italian national Olympic committee, CONI.

Riccò, who returned to cycling last year following a ban imposed after he tested positive for EPO during the 2008 Tour de France, in which he won two stages, reportedly told investigators that he administered the transfusion under medical prescription.

In June, as he was reportedly set to return to racing with the Meridiana-Kamen team in the Tour of Serbia, governing body the Federazione Ciclistica Italiana (FCI) took the unusual step of suspending the 28-year-old from all competition “for reasons relating to the health of the athlete himself.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.