- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (AP) - Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco’s two-year doping ban has been reduced by four months.

Tuesday’s decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport means Ricco will be eligible to ride in the 2010 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

The 25-year-old rider tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-booster EPO, after winning two mountain stages of the 2008 Tour.

He was thrown out of the race and banned by the Italian Olympic committee, or CONI.

Ricco appealed to CAS for a 1-year ban because he gave information that helped French doping authorities catch teammate Leonardo Piepoli for CERA use.

CONI agreed that Ricco cooperated but asked the court to impose a 20-month ban.

Ricco’s suspension will run through March 17, 2010.

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