Former swim champion Magnini’s doping decision postponed
ROME (AP) — Two-time swimming world champion Filippo Magnini will have to wait longer to find out his fate in a doping case for which he risks a ban of eight years.
Magnini appeared before a court of Italy’s anti-doping agency on Monday, but at the end of a four-hour hearing judges ruled additional time was needed and postponed their decision to Nov. 6.
“I simply recounted the truth and now I’m calm. I am totally innocent,” said the 36-year-old Magnini, who retired last year. “I’m happy because my lawyers managed to bring out the truth. The sentence was postponed because of the complexity of the case.
“I’m calm, we’ll see on Nov. 6. ... Now I’m happy because after a year and a half we’ve been able to talk. I have always behaved well in this period because I never gave interviews, I always kept a low profile. Now I feel better, now that I have talked it’s a huge sigh of relief.”
Italy’s anti-doping prosecutor has requested an eight-year ban for Magnini, and a four-year ban for his relay teammate Michele Santucci, who are both accused of using banned substances.
The pair was questioned by anti-doping authorities in October 2017 over their relationship with nutritionist Guido Porcellini, who has since been banned for 30 years for distributing illegal drugs.
Santucci, who was present on Monday, faces his own hearing on Wednesday.
Magnini, who won the 100-meter freestyle at the 2005 and 2007 world championships and a relay bronze at the 2004 Olympics, has never tested positive and maintains that he never doped. He was an outspoken critic of doping throughout his career, having taken part in an “I am doping free” initiative.
“If I could go back in time would I continue working with him (Porcellini)? Probably yes because when I worked with him I did everything legitimately.”
Santucci teamed with Magnini when Italy won bronze in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2015 worlds.