Lausanne, Switzerland - Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his 12-year ban for a second doping offence.
Italy's anti-doping tribunal imposed the ban in April for Ricco using transfusions of his own blood.
CAS confirmed on Tuesday it has received an appeal from Ricco. If the suspension is upheld it will almost certainly end his career as he turns 29 in September.
Ricco hasn't raced since being rushed to a hospital after falling ill at his home near Modena in February 2011. The doctor who treated him reportedly told police the cyclist confessed to using transfusions of his own blood, which he allegedly kept in his home refrigerator.
He was fired by Dutch team Vacansoleil-DCM after the incident. Ricco was preparing to race again after joining third-division outfit Meridiana-Kamen, but CONI provisionally suspended him in June last year "for reasons related to the athlete's own health."
Ricco received a two-year ban after testing positive for the blood-booster CERA following victories in two mountain stages at the 2008 Tour de France. CAS reduced it to 20 months in March 2009.
Ricco finished second at the 2008 Giro d'Italia.