Ex-world champion Magnini wins appeal against doping ban

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Italy's Filippo Magnini, pictured in 2015, won two world 100m freestyle titles. — AFP

MILAN — Former two-time world 100m freestyle champion Filippo Magnini of Italy had his four-year doping ban overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday.

The 38-year-old had been banned in November 2018 by Italy's anti-doping agency (NADO), after which he retired from the sport.

But Lausanne-based CAS found that "there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Filippo Magnini had violated the world anti-doping code".

"I WON. CAS acquitted me from any kind of accusation," said Magnini on Instagram.

"It has always been like this, I have always won races in the last few metres.

"They taught me never to give up. I have always been an athlete and a correct person. I tremble with joy."

An investigation into Magnini and fellow swimmer Michele Santucci was opened after criminal proceedings against a rogue nutritionist, Guido Porcellini.

Porcellini was banned for 30 years by the Italian authorities for trafficking doping products and counterfeit medicine.

Magnini's name was found among the evidence, which revealed certain products to be destined for the Italian swimmer, although investigators conceded he may not have used or even received them.

NADO had initially demanded an eight-year ban for the 2005 and 2007 world champion, who also won Olympic bronze with the 4x200m Italian relay team in Athens (2004).

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang

to learn CAS fate over on Friday


Chinese Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang will learn on Friday whether he faces a possible eight-year ban for missing a drug test, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said.

CAS said it would announce the decision at 0900 GMT on Friday.

The triple Olympic gold medal-winner, who served a doping suspension in 2014, is accused of smashing a blood vial with a hammer following a visit by testers to his home in China in September in 2018.

Swimming body FINA confirmed in January that Sun had indeed used a hammer to destroy the vial containing his own blood sample during the testing session, but acquitted him of anti-doping violations, agreeing that testers had failed to produce adequate identification.

But the ruling outraged the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which took the matter to CAS, demanding a ban of between two and eight years for missing the out-of-competition test.

After being cleared by FINA Sun was able to compete in the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, in July, where he won two golds but became a focus of protests from rivals, especially from Australia.

Sun's CAS hearing, the first in 20 years that was open to the public, was beset by technical difficulties and interpreting errors between Chinese and English which frustrated lawyers and held up proceedings. — AFP


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