Riccardo Ricco: Lifetime ban from cycling for Italian rider after investigation

Riccardo Ricco

Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has received a lifetime ban from the sport following an investigation.

The 37-year-old was already serving a 12-year ban after being taken seriously ill in 2011 after a botched, reportedly self-administered, blood transfusion.

Anti-doping body Nado Italia handed him the life ban over a 2015 investigation into receiving drugs, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.external-link

Ricco won three stages of the Giro d’Italia and was runner-up in 2007.

The former Vacansoleil rider also served a two-year ban after being caught taking the blood booster CERA during the 2008 Tour de France.

Cyclists commonly transfused blood to promote an increase in the production of red blood cells which enabled the body to recover more quickly during competition.

Lance Armstrong admitted to blood doping in 2013 along with previously using EPO during his seven Tour de France victories, of which he has since been stripped.

Ricco and Armstrong are two of only a few riders to receive lifetime bans from the sport – Armstong’s punishment being issued by cycling’s world governing body the UCI following his admission.

A documentary about Armstrong is available to watch now on the BBC iPlayer.

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