Boxing: Rosi receives two-year ban

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The Independent Online
The World Boxing Organisation super-welterweight champion, Gianfranco Rosi, has been banned for two years for taking drugs. The Italian Boxing Federation (FPI) imposed the mandatory after Rosi, 37, tested positive for banned amphetamines after his victory over Verno Phillips in May. The WBO is now expected to strip him of the title.

Rosi pledged to try to overturn the ruling and said: "I'll accept this verdict in the same way I have accepted my defeats in the ring. But my battle goes on. My lawyers will continue to act because justice must triumph."

The FPI judge, Mario Mendicini, accepted Rosi's defence that he and his doctors did not realise a medicine he was taking for injuries around the brain contained the substances, but had no choice but to ban him, which will effectively end the fighter's career. Rosi has denied taking banned drugs, and said his case would be "the ruin of Italian boxing".

The title fight in May in Rosi's home town of Perugia marked his return from retirement after the only defeat of his 17-year professional career. Vincent Pettway had knocked him out to win the International Boxing Federation junior-middleweight title in Las Vegas last September.

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