Cannavaro meets officials after failed drugs test

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The Independent Online

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has already met with anti-doping officials following his positive drugs test and a decision on his case could come later in the day, local media reported today.

The Juventus defender received emergency cortisone treatment for an insect bite on 28 August and then failed a dope test after a Serie A match two days later. Cannavaro had requested an exemption after being treated for the bite but did not receive it before he was tested.

Media reports said Cannavaro was spotted meeting the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) anti-doping chief Ettore Torri in Turin late on Thursday and that a judgement may come on Friday.

Cannavaro should escape a ban but Juve could be fined, the reports added.

Torri has been relentless in his battle against doping and has charged sports personalities even when they have argued that their positive tests were the result of accidents.

Cyclist Alessandro Petacchi failed a drugs test for salbutamol and despite arguing that the results were because he had overused his asthma inhaler, Torri still banned him for a year and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) agreed.

Torri also banned soccer players Daniele Mannini and Davide Possanzini for 15 days for being late for a drugs test while playing for Brescia in 2007 but the World Anti-Doping Agency demanded longer suspensions. CAS sided with CONI.

A similar case against AS Roma captain Francesco Totti was dropped last year.

Cannavaro is suspended for Italy's World Cup qualifier in Ireland on Saturday, when a point will put the world champions through to next year's finals, but is due to meet up with the sqaud on Sunday ahead of Wednesday's home game with Cyprus.

The 36-year-old was famously videoed inserting a drip into his arm on the eve of a 3-0 victory over Olympique Marseille in the 1999 UEFA Cup final when playing for Parma.

His lawyer confirmed the drip contained Neoton, a drug used in cardiac surgery to protect the heart, and was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances.

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