The Italian Olympic Committee has requested doping bans of two years for 26 track and field athletes, most of who are slated to compete at next year's Rio de Janeiro Games. National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) of Italy accused the players of evasion, refusal, and failure to submit themselves to providing biological samples.
The list includes Andrew Howe, the silver medalist in long jump at the 2007 world championships; Fabrizio Donato, the bronze medalist in triple jump at the 2012 London Olympics; sprinter Simone Collio; and distance runner Daniele Meucci. All the players are accused of evading doping tests and claim there was an administrative error. The players would now face trial at the anti-doping court of CONI, the Italian National Olympic Committee and decisions are expected to be announced sometime next year.
The 26 athletes are Daniele Greco, Andrew Howe, Anna Incerti, Andrea Lalli, Stefano La Rosa, Claudio Licciardello, Daniele Meucci, Christian Obrist, Ruggero Pertile, Jacques Riparelli, Roberto Bertolini, Migidio Bourifa, Filippo Campioli, Simone Collio, Roberto Donati, Fabrizio Donato, Giovanni Faloci, Matteo Galvan, Giuseppe Gibilisco, Silvia Salis, Fabrizio Schembri, Daniele Secci, Silvia Weissteiner, Kaddour Slimani, Gianluca Tamberi, and Marco Francesco Vistalli. Five of the 26 athletes have already qualified for the Rio Olympics and others like pole vaulter Giuseppe Gibilisco have retired.
Hammer thrower Silvia Salis said what we have been accused of is not a doping case but rather problems of availability for the Whereabouts system. Salis added the only thing that he can is that the system had technical flaws.
The Italian Olympic Committee cleared 39 athletes including 2008 Olympic 50-kilometre walk race champion Alex Schwazer. The walk race champion was excluded from the London Olympics and banned three-and-a-half years.
Reacting to this development, Italian Athletics Federation president Alfio Giomi said placing the blame only on the athletes for what happened is too simple. Giomi added the athlete is the starting and finishing point for the entire movement but in between there are coaches, clubs, the federation and CONI and also remarked that we all have to assume our responsibility.
The world of athletics was recently stunned after the IAAF, the world governing body of athletics, imposed an indefinite suspension on Russia.
In another development, IAAF President Sebastian Coe met with British Parliament to discuss an inquiry into stance of the world track and field governing body on anti-doping as well as corruption allegations. Coe, who was elected president of the IAAF in August, came under fire for his ties with Nike and recently severed his contract with the sports apparel giant. The chief of world governing body of athletics also said he has never been offered a bribe and does not know of anyone who has been offered a bribe. When asked about his relationship with Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar, Coe remarked he is friends with Salazar and was not contacted by Nike following the investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.