Riccardo Riccò, who hoped to return to competition with his new Meridiana-Kamen team this summer, will have to wait at least until September 10 in order to be allowed to race again. The Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal of CONI has extended the rider’s suspension, which had been due to end on August 10, for another 30 days.
“To protect the rider’s health”, CONI president Francesco Plotino ordered Riccò to be excluded from any competition in early June, and has now reiterated his concerns as the end of the two-month suspension drew near.
Italian anti-doping authorities are still investigating whether or not the ‘Cobra’ transfused his own refrigerated blood before he was admitted to a hospital in critical condition in February this year.
At the time, Riccò had been reported as having admitted his ill-practices to the doctors, but he later denied having done so. If an auto-transfusion is proven, the Italian faces a lifetime suspension after already having tested positive for EPO CERA during the 2008 Tour de France.