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Riccardo Riccò (Meridiana-Kamen)
Italian banned from worldwide competition
The Italian Olympic Committee's Anti-doping Tribunal has suspended Riccardo Riccò, the CONI announced today, a move which will prevent the Italian from returning to global competition with his new team, Meridiana-Kamen.
Riccò sought to compete in the Tour of Serbia starting June 13, but the CONI's anti-doping prosecutor followed upon action from the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) to ban him from competition based upon an alleged anti-doping violation.
Riccò was admitted to an intensive care unit in February, and it was widely reported that his medical crisis was the result of a botched blood transfusion, although the rider himself adamantly denies this.
His Vacansoleil-DCM team sacked him over the news, and Riccò was suspended by the FCI last week until he could prove that he was healthy enough to compete.
The move from the CONI goes one step further, finally taking disciplinary action against Riccò for "use or attempted use of prohibited methods".