Ricco handed 12-year ban
Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has been banned for 12 years by the country's anti-doping tribunal.
Ricco was found guilty of doping by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), who had proposed the lengthy ban back in October for what is his second doping offence.
The 28-year-old rider had been taken
to hospital in February 2011 after feeling unwell due to a self-administered blood transfusion.
"We can confirm that Riccardo Ricco has today been banned for 12 years," the CONI press office confirmed.
The 28-year-old rider was previously ejected from the 2008 Tour de France for doping violations and suspended.
He returned to the competition in 2010 but has not raced in the last 14 months.