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CONI wants a 12-year ban for Riccardo Riccò

ROME — The Italian Olympic Committee on Wednesday recommended a 12-year ban for disgraced cyclist Riccardo Ricco over an apparent self-transfusion.

Ricco ended up in hospital in February with kidney problems after apparently trying to give himself a blood transfusion. The incident came to light because he was close to death at one point and the doctor who operated on him spoke out afterwards.

Ricco has since claimed he was merely injecting himself with an iron solution but experts have said that would not have produced the symptoms he was suffering from in hospital.

Ricco has already served a two-year ban for doping during the 2008 Tour de France, during which he was found to have taken the banned blood-booster CERA.

Also on Wednesday CONI requested that a case against cyclist Luca Paolini for trafficking doping products be dropped.

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