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Updated: April 20, 2012 02:02 IST

Ricco gets 12-year ban

AFP
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In this May 27, 2007 file photo a supporter cheers Italy's Riccardo Ricco' on as he pedals to win the 15th stage of the Giro, Tour of Italy cycling race, from Trento to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, northern Italy.
AP In this May 27, 2007 file photo a supporter cheers Italy's Riccardo Ricco' on as he pedals to win the 15th stage of the Giro, Tour of Italy cycling race, from Trento to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, northern Italy.

Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco was given a 12-year doping ban by the National Anti-doping Tribunal on Thursday.

The Tribunal accepted the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor's request after Ricco was accused of giving himself a blood transfusion.

Ricco maintains he is innocent and merely injected himself with an iron solution but a doctor who operated on him claimed Ricco had tried to give himself a blood transfusion.

In February last year Ricco ended up in hospital with kidney problems after the apparent transfusion attempt.

Close to death, he allegedly told the doctor he had given himself a transfusion with blood kept in his fridge.

Experts have dismissed his claims of injecting himself with an iron solution, saying it would not have produced the symptoms from which he was suffering.

An investigation concluded in September revealed through bacteriological analysis of Ricco's blood that his infection was caused by a failed blood transfusion.

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