ROME: Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has failed a doping test, with Juventus saying it was the result of cortisone used to treat a bee sting.
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI)’s anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri opened an investigation. Cannavaro, who helped Italy win the World Cup in Berlin in 2006, was already suspended for the World Cup qualifier with Ireland on Saturday. But he was expected to join the team for Wednesday’s game against Cyprus.
CONI would not say when Cannavaro tested positive, but said Torri would hold a hearing with the defender and the physician involved. Cannavaro received an injection on August 29 to prevent an allergic reaction, the ANSA news agency said, quoting the Italian football federation. That was shortly before he joined Italy’s team for World Cup qualifiers with Georgia and Bulgaria. The federation said the team’s medical staff was also informed of the injection, and that a certificate had been sent to CONI.
Juventus said they followed all medical rules, adding that the treatment was “indispensable to avoid complications, even lethal.” Former Juve physician Riccardo Agricola was convicted of administering banned substances to Juventus players from 1994-98. He was given a suspended sentence of 22 months in 2004.
In 2005, a video was shown on Italian TV of Cannavaro getting injected with a performance-enhancing substance the night before the 1999 UEFA Cup final. The sequence was shot in a Moscow hotel, shortly before his Parma team beat Marseille 3-0 for the title. The substance was Neoton, that was not on any banned lists in Italy at the time.