Cycling

Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco banned for life

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Riccardo Ricco at 2008 Tour de France
Riccardo Ricco at 2008 Tour de France
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Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco, who was thrown off the Tour de France in 2008 for taking a blood-boosting drug, has been banned for life, the national anti-doping agency announced.

The 37-year-old had already been handed a 12-year ban that was due to expire in 2024.

He must also pay a €4 000 fine and costs of €378, Nado Italia said in a statement issued on Monday.

"The first section of the national anti-doping court, in the disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Riccardo Ricco... imposes a life ban," the statement said.

A once promising rider known as "The Cobra", Ricco's career collapsed when he was found to have taken the banned blood-booster CERA during the 2008 tour.

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