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Gazzetta: Riccò Confesses to Blood Transfusion

Riccardo Riccò Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting today that Riccardo Riccò confessed to performing a blood transfusion. Yesterday, conflicting stories emerged about Riccò's condition after he became ill and was admitted to hospital in Modena. More detailed reports have now emerged, and Riccò reportedly suffered a fever that hit 40C and severe abdominal pain, leading to talk of possible kidney failure. The rider's father confirmed that "he risked his life." The symptons sound similar to the bad blood doping experience that Jesús Manzano recounted.

Riccò's condition improved today, but his legal status became more complicated. According to testimony by the doctor who treated him, Riccò admitted "in the presence of his wife [ed: girlfriend]" that he "had done a blood transfusion." The blood had reportedly been stored in the refrigerator at the rider's house for 25 days. (Yuck?!) Gazzetta reports that the procura in Modena has already opened a case, because blood transfusion violates Italy's anti-doping law, 376/2000. Riccò remains in hospital under observation, and his condition is reportedly stable. The rider only recently finished serving a doping suspension after he tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France and signed with Vacansoleil for the coming season.