Wednesday December 2nd, 2015

The Italian Olympic Committee has requested two-year doping bans for 26 track and field athletes who reportedly tried to dodge anti-doping tests. An additional 39 athletes were cleared of any violations.

The athletes will have hearings before CONI’s anti-doping court.

The 26 athletes are Roberto Bertolini, Migidio Bourifa, Filippo Campioli, Simone Collio, Roberto Donati, Fabrizio Donato, Giovanni Faloci, Matteo Galvan, Giuseppe Gibilisco, Daniele Greco, Andrew Howe, Anna Incerti, Andrea Lalli, Stefano La Rosa, Claudio Licciardello, Daniele Meucci, Christian Obrist, Ruggero Pertile, Jacques Riparelli, Silvia Salis, Fabrizio Schembri, Daniele Secci, Kaddour Slimani, Gianluca Tamberi, Marco Francesco Vistalli and Silvia Weissteiner.

Donato won a bronze medal in the triple jump at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Greco finished behind him in fourth place. Howe is a silver medalist in the long jump from the 2007 IAAF World Championships.

Tamberi is a javelin thrower and the son of 1980 Olympic finalist Marco Tamberi. He also won Mr. Italia honors in 2012. 

Meucci is coming off an eighth place finish in the world championships marathon in August. He holds a personal best of 2:11:08 for the marathon.

IAAF President Seb Coe faced Parliament on doping, corruption

Five of the 26 athletes have hit the qualifying standards for next summer’s Rio Olympics. Others like pole vaulter Giuseppe Gibilisco have retired. Gibilisco won world championship gold in 2003 and bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2008, he had a two-year doping ban overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

Last week, two-time world cross country champion Emily Chebet of Kenya was suspended for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. More than 40 Kenyan athletes have tested positive in the past two years.

The highest profile case in the last two years was Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo’s positive test for EPO just days before almost collecting $500,000 in prize money from the World Marathon Majors.

Russia was suspended from international competition following its systemic doping violations. Kenya is being investigated by the IAAF for alleged doping cover-ups since last March, but was not placed on a “watch list” by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Brazil, Belgium, France, Greece, Mexico and Spain are on the list and must have their anti-doping agencies meet strict conditions by March 18, 2016, or be deemed non-compliant. 

- Christopher Chavez

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