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Riccò meets with Modena investigators

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Riccardo Riccò awaits the start of the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise.

Riccardo Riccò awaits the start of the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Clear blue skies and a crisp Lombard day greeted Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) in Castellanza.

Clear blue skies and a crisp Lombard day greeted Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) in Castellanza. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Riccardo Riccò met with the Modena Procura on Wednesday and reiterated his claim that he infused an iron solution before being hospitalised with kidney problems in February. At the time, the Italian was alleged to have told medical staff that he had undergone a blood transfusion.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Riccò and his lawyer Fiorenzo Alessi presented investigators with documentation to show that the rider had reported very low iron levels in blood tests taken in Rimini in January. They also forwarded a prescription recommending that he use three drips of the iron solution Ferlixit per week.

Riccò claimed that he carried out the infusion alone, and is quoted in Gazzetta as saying, “I know how to do infusions, whether it’s endovenous or intramuscular.”

After performing an infusion on the evening of Friday, February 4, Riccò fell ill the following day. “I fell to the ground and I woke up in Baggiovara hospital,” he said. “I don’t remember speaking to anyone.”

Modena prosecutors have also interviewed staff at the hospital, however, and no fewer than eight witnesses are reported to have heard Riccò tell doctors on admittance that he had undertaken an autologous blood transfusion using blood stored in a domestic refrigerator.

Riccò denied making that confession at an Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) hearing last month. CONI has since recommended that Riccò be handed a 12-year ban.