Defense requests meeting with CONI anti-doping prosecutor
At the request of his defense team, Riccardo Riccò will have a hearing with the anti-doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on September 14 to discuss the conclusion of the investigation into the rider's alleged botched blood transfusion.
Riccò is facing a life ban from the sport in addition to a three-year prison sentence for his second doping offense.
As reported on Monday, an investigation into Riccò's sudden kidney failure in February concluded that the near-fatal illness was caused by an attempted blood transfusion.
Earlier this year reports stated that Riccò admitted upon arrival at the hospital to self-administering a blood transfusion, but he later denied having made these statements, asserting that he was unconscious when he arrived.
However, his medical records stated that Riccò was conscious when he was admitted, and medical experts agreed upon examining the records that the Italian's illness showed hallmarks of an infection caused by the infusion of improperly stored blood.
If Riccò is found guilty of violating the World Anti-Doping Agency's code, which prohibits blood transfusions, it would be his second anti-doping violation after his 2008 positive for the blood boosting hormone CERA.
He is currently under provisional suspension and has thus been unable to race for the Meridiana-Kamen team, which hired him in June.
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