Ricco 'performed own blood transfusion'
Tue, 08 Feb 18:01:00 2011
Riccardo Ricco risked his life by trying to perform a blood transfusion on himself, a source with knowledge of the situation said.
The report comes as the Italian anti-doping body started disciplinary action against him.
Ricco, who returned from a 20-month ban last March after being caught doping while in second place at the 2008 Tour de France, is seriously ill in hospital in Modena having been admitted on Monday.
Media reports said doctors had informed Italian authorities that Ricco had admitted to injecting blood he had been keeping for 25 days.
"He risked not seeing the light of day," the source said, adding that Ricco had the symptoms of unsafe self blood transfusion. The source said doctors had informed local prosecutors about the case.
Doping Riccardo Ricco
The Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping body acted quickly.
"The anti-doping prosecutor's office announces that it has opened disciplinary proceedings against professional cyclist Riccardo Ricco on the basis of news which has appeared in the press," a statement said.
Ricco and his Vacansoleil team were not immediately available for a comment.
The 27-year-old had his house raided in September as part of a wide-ranging Italian police probe into doping and unidentified tablets were seized.
However, he was not put under investigation and charges have not been brought.
Cycling and especially Italian cycling have been rocked by a succession of doping scandals which have left the sport's credibility hanging by a thread.Reuters