Skip to main content

Tests prove Riccò had blood transfusion, Dutch newspaper says

Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) saddles up for a day of training.

Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) saddles up for a day of training. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Medical examinations prove that Riccardo Riccò underwent a blood transfusion, according to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. An examination of his blood “confirm that the Vacansoleil rider was administered poorly preserved blood,” the newspaper said.

Riccò was admitted to hospital over the weekend with a high fever and in critical condition. Italian media reported that he told a doctor he had given himself a transfusion, but there are also reports that he has denied saying that.

Both the Italian police, the Italian Olympic committee (CONI) and his Vacansoleil team are investigating whether illegal doping played a role in his medical emergency, and according to recent reports are looking for whoever assisted the Italian with the suspected blood transfusion. His partner Vania Rossi said she was not at home at the time of his collapse.

The 27-year-old has not yet been personally interviewed by investigators. However, De Telegraaf said, the question is no longer whether he engaged in blood doping but whether he did it alone or with help.

Meanwhile, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey expressed disappointment that a rider who had already served a ban for doping would continue doping.

"I'm very disappointed, it's tragic that someone can put himself in danger," Fahey said on Thursday. "It's dreadful to see an athlete recommit."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1