The captain of the Italian national football team, Fabio Cannavaro, has hit out at his treatment at the hands of the world’s media after being cleared of doping by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).
The Juventus defender, who led his country to World Cup victory in 2006, failed a drugs test two days after treating a wasp sting with a cream containing cortisone on 28 August. The case against the 36-year-old, whose insect-allergy means that untreated stings could prove fatal, was dropped by CONI’s anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri after documentation detailing the situation was provided by his club. Torri has a notorious reputation for his hard line stance against doping in sport, having previously charged those who argued positive tests were the result of legitimate circumstances. After the results were announced, Cannavaro criticized how the story had been reported by many areas of the press.
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“You get stung by a wasp and then find yourself in the newspaper as if you had been doping,” Cannavaro said. “Some newspapers and television channels went too far — this is the second time in my life that I’ve found myself gratuitously in the newspapers for a story like this. “I hope this story does not follow me beyond today. My career has always been distinguished by respect for the rules,” the footballer told Gazzetto dello Sport. Cannavaro was previously cleared of a similar charge in 1999, when he was videoed inserting a drip into his arm before he went onto to help Parma beat Marseilles to win the Uefa Cup. “I didn’t have any doubt [about the outcome]. “I am sorry that a matter of this kind stirred up such a fuss. “My personal history and my career show my respect towards sports and the ethical principles which support it,” Cannavaro added. Italy sealed their place at the 2010 World Cup with a 2-2 draw against Ireland on Saturday, despite Cannavaro’s absence through suspension. Italy play Cyprus at home on Wednesday and have been buoyed by the news that talismanic forward Francesco Totti has said he would consider coming out of retirement for the World Cup. The injury-prone 33-year-old Roma captain retired from international play after lifting the world Cup in Germany. But he told Gazzetta dello Sport: “It depends on coach (Marcello Lippi’s) choices and my condition. I owe (Lippi) a lot.”