- Associated Press - Thursday, April 19, 2012

MILAN (AP) - Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has been banned for 12 years by the country’s anti-doping tribunal for his second doping offense.

The tribunal agreed on Thursday with the length of the ban proposed by the Italian Olympic Committee in October.

Ricco hasn’t raced since he was rushed to a hospital after falling ill at his home near Modena in February. The doctor who treated him reportedly told police the cyclist confessed to using tranfusions of his own blood, which he allegedly kept in his home refrigerator.

Ricco had been banned for 20 months after testing positive for the blood-booster CERA following his victories in two mountain stages at the 2008 Tour de France.

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