Ricco rushed to hospital with suspected kidney failure
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Monday, February 07, 2011

Ricco rushed to hospital with suspected kidney failure

by Shane Stokes at 2:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian climber under observation

Riccardo RiccoBecoming ill at the end of a training spin, it has emerged that Vacansoleil rider Riccardo Riccò has been rushed to hospital and remains under observation.

According to a report in the Gazzetta di Modena, the 28 year old’s father talked about ‘kidney failure’ as the cause of the problem. There has also been suggestions that kidney stones could be the culprit, but this is unconfirmed. The rider was brought to hospital in Baggiovara on Sunday. His condition then worsened and he was transferred to S. Agostino-Este.

The latter hospital has released a statement, and clarifies that the situation is not quite as serious as it had been. “Following an illness yesterday afternoon, Riccardo Riccò has been hospitalised in Baggiovara. His condition, initially critical, is improving. As a matter of prudence, the prognosis is reserved.”

The communiqué ends by saying that an update will be given tomorrow afternoon.

Riccò is one of Italy’s most well known riders, but also one of the most controversial. After winning two stages and taking second overall in the 2008 Giro d’Italia, he went to the Tour de France and picked up two stage wins there. However he was disqualified from the latter and ejected from the race when analysis of his samples showed that he had been using the third generation EPO substance CERA.

Riccò cooperated with investigators and incurred a reduced ban. He returned to racing last season and picked up a number of strong results, including wins in the Coppa Sabatini and in the Tour of Austria, where he also took two stage wins. He was also second overall in both the Settimana Ciclista Lombardia and the Giro del Trentino, grabbing stage wins in each.

He insists that he is now racing clean. Last autumn he began working with anti-doping trainer Aldo Sassi. The latter died of a brain tumour in December, but Riccò continues to have testing done and training programmes drawn up at Sassi’s Mapei Centre.

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