3rd November 2020

Eight Italians sanctioned and two provisionally suspended

Italy’s national anti-doping agency (NADO Italia) has announced bans issued to athletes competing in Athletics, Baseball and to people not affiliated with a sporting federation. It has also provisionally suspended a rally driver and a sitting volleyball player who returned adverse analytical findings (AAFs). 

Middle distance runner Yassin El Khalil has been sanctioned with an eight year ban, expiring 18 October 2028. El Khalil was initially sanctioned for evading or refusing to submit to sample collection, and was subsequently sanctioned for evading a second doping control.

El Khalil argues that on 7 June 2019, he withdrew from a race in Montone to reach a hospital 14 kilometres away in Città di Castello, reports Podisti.net, as his wife was giving birth. He apparently received a call at the hospital from the doping control officer (DCO), who invited him to return to complete the test. El Khalil is understood to have refused, but asked the DCO to come to the hospital. It is understood that in addition, it is alleged that El Khalil missed another test at his home address.

Alessio Guidi, founder of running club Passo Capponi, has been sanctioned with an additional two year ban for competing whilst disqualified. In 2019, Guidi was sanctioned with a two year ban for organising an ‘illegal marathon’, at which it was alleged that Roberto Barbi competed, reports Podisti.net. It is understood that part of the evidence used against him was a ‘selfie’ taken with Barbi, who earlier this year had a 30 year ban extended to 47 years.

Andrea Toccaceli, physiotherapist with Bologna’s Fortitudo baseball team, was sanctioned with a five year ban for administration/attempted administration of a prohibited substance to a baseball player. Article 4.3.2 of Italy’s Norme Sportive Antidoping (NSA) allows bans for administration/attempted administration to be extended beyond four years dependant on the severity of the offence. His sanction will expire on 12 October 2025.

Francesco Fuzzi, a baseball player with Fortitudo, returned an AAF for modafinil after a 6 August 2019 match against Parma Clima. Having learned about the positive test, his club expressed surprise in a statement. After initially being sanctioned with a two year suspension his ban has been reduced to 14 months under Article 4.6.1.1 of the NSA, which allows a sanction reduction in cases where collaboration leads to the conviction of another person for an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV).

NADO Italia also issued lengthy bans to a number of other people. Salvatore De Lucia, who is not affiliated with a sporting federation, was sanctioned with a 16 year ban; Stefano Del Carlo, who is affiliated to the voluntary sports organisation Centro Sportivo Italiano (CSI) with a 12 year ban; Francesco Lorenzini (unaffiliated) with a four year ban; and Germano Poleselli (unaffiliated) with a four year ban.

Two other athletes have also been provisionally suspended after reporting AAFs. Eros Doria has been provisionally suspended after returning an AAF for a metabolite of cocaine, NADO Italia announced. The rally driver returned the AAF from a test conduced at the Regional Enduro Championship – Second Test at Mariana di Patti on 11 October 2020. 

Simone Drigo has been provisionally suspended after returning an AAF for Indapamide, Canrenone, and Dorzolamide, NADO Italia announced. Drigo returned the AAF at a national sitting volleyball event in Rome on 25 September.

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