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Zanardi leaves hospital for specialist neuro-rehab centre

Alex Zanardi competing in the Rome Marathon in April 2017.
Alex Zanardi competing in the Rome Marathon in April 2017. Andreas SOLARO AFP/File
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Milan (AFP)

Paralympic champion and former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi has been transferred to a specialised neurological rehabilitation centre, doctors at the hospital where he was being treated after a serious handbike accident last month said on Tuesday.

"Following the suspension of sedation, the normality of his cardio-respiratory and metabolic conditions, and the stability of both his general clinical condition and neurological picture enabled the champion to be transferred to a specialised recovery rehabilitation centre," a statement from Siena's Santa Maria delle Scotte hospital said.

Zanardi, who had both his legs amputated after a motor racing accident two decades ago, suffered serious head injuries when he lost control of his handbike during a road race in Tuscany and crashed into an oncoming truck on June 19.

Zanardi has become one of the best-known figures in paralympic sports following the 2001 motor racing accident on the Lausitzring track in Germany.

He raced for Jordan, Minardi and Lotus in F1 in the early 1990s before switching to the CART championship in the United States where he was series champion in 1997 and 1998.

He returned to F1 with Williams in 1999 before heading back to CART.

Zanardi won two gold medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and four years later won two more in Rio de Janeiro.

He also won the Rome marathon in 2010 and the New York race the following year.

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