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Italian press reports that Riccardo Riccò has admitted to self-transfusion

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.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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