ITALIAN CYCLIST RICCARDO Ricco has been punished with a 12-year ban after being found guilty of doping by the National Anti-doping Tribunal.
The Tribunal have accepted the recommendation of the Italian Olympic Committee, after the cyclist was accused of giving himself a blood transfusion.
Ricco says he is innocent and only gave himself an iron solution, however his doctor has contradicted these claims.
An investigation also backed up the doctor’s claims, after the cyclist suffered kidney problems in February last year.
The Italian was sacked by his Vacansoleil team last September following the investigation’s conclusion.
Ricco already previously received a two year-ban for doping in 2008, after traces of the banned blood-booster CERA were found in his system.