Seriously ill Ricco off critical list

Mon, 07 Feb 21:34:00 2011

Top Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco is in hospital with an unspecified illness but has been taken off the critical list, doctors said.

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Ricco, who returned from a 20-month ban last March after being caught doping at the 2008 Tour de France, entered hospital on Sunday after feeling unwell.

"His condition was initially critical but he has now improved. The prognosis remains reserved," Italian media quoted a statement from the hospital in Modena as saying.

Rubinho Ricco, Riccardo's father, said his son had suffered "kidney failure" after a training session on Sunday. with further reports also suggesting the rider was struggling with intestinal and lung problems.

The 27-year-old, who races for the Vacansoleil team, had his house raided in September as part of a wide-ranging Italian police probe into doping and unidentified tablets were seized.

However, he was not put under investigation and charges have not been brought.


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