Riccardo Riccò doping case: three medical experts appointed to study files
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Monday, November 07, 2011

Riccardo Riccò doping case: three medical experts appointed to study files

by Shane Stokes at 6:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Trio has 45 days to reach a conclusion

Riccardo RiccoFollowing the recent request by Italian Olympic Committee CONI’s prosecutor for a twelve year ban, the ongoing investigation into the case of Riccardo Riccò is moving towards a final and long-awaited conclusion.

The rider was hospitalised in serious condition in February and reportedly admitted then to transfusing blood which he had previously extracted and then stored in a refrigerator for 25 days. Despite several hospital staff attesting to this confession, Riccò has claimed that they are lying and that he never made an admission.

Instead, he has said that he infused iron to treat low blood levels.

A final determination in the case will be made after three experts analayse the files. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the National Anti-Doping Tribunal, which is headed by Magistrate Francis Plotinus, has appointed the three specialists who will help establish the full truth about what happened.

They are an immuno-haematologist, a specialist in infectious diseases and a nephrologist, or kidney doctor. The trio will have 45 days to come to a conclusion. The National Anti-Doping Tribunal has already heard from several others, including Riccò himself.

The controversial rider is facing what will effectively be the end of his career if he is found guilty. He previously tested positive during the 2008 Tour de France and served a lengthy ban. He hasn’t raced since the February incident, although he attempted to ride the Tour of Serbia in June with the small Meridiana-Kamen team.

This became impossible when on June 8th, the Commission for Health Protection of the Italian cycling federation decided to suspend his licence for 60 days. This was later extended by an additional 30 days.

Riccò denied all doping when he was heard by CONI on September 14th, and claimed that the medical staff who had treated him had lied. “We set out our alternative version,” said his lawyer Fiorenzo Alessi, according to Tuttobiciweb. “We think we can say there was no autotransfusion.”
 

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