PARIS, June 26, 2012 – Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco is to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a bid to have his 12-year doping
ban overturned, the CAS announced on Tuesday.
Having already served a 20-month ban for doping during the 2008 Tour de France, during which he was found to have taken the banned blood-booster CERA,
Ricco almost died in February last year after suffering kidney problems having apparently attempted to give himself a blood transfusion.
Ricco, nicknamed ‘The Cobra’, maintains he is innocent and merely injected himself with an iron solution but a doctor who operated on him claimed Ricco
The Italian National Anti-doping Tribunal handed the 28-year-old a 12-year ban in April, ruling him out of a return to competition until January 2024 and
essentially ending his career as a result.
“The rider requests the annulment of the challenged decision and accordingly the cancellation of the suspension,” read a CAS statement.
Ricco came to prominence in 2008, winning two stages and finishing second on the Tour of Italy and then winning another pair of stages on the Tour de
France before being thrown off the race for doping.