Ricco banned from competing after admitting doping

ROME -- Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has been banned from all competition by the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping tribunal.

The ban is effective immediately, the Olympic committee, CONI, said in a statement on Thursday. It did not specify how long the suspension would last.

Ricco appeared before CONI's anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri on Wednesday and admitted to taking banned substances during the Tour de France, where the 24-year-old rider won two stages this year.

Ricco tested positive for CERA, or continuous erythropoietin receptor activator, an advanced version of the blood booster EPO. He was kicked out of the Tour and fired by the Saunier-Duval team.