Howe, Donato among eight cleared by Italy of doping claims

Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:57pm EDT
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ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Olympic Committee (CONI) has acquitted eight athletes, including bronze medalist Fabrizio Donato and former European champion long jumper Andrew Howe, of failing to supply doping samples.

The eight were among 26 athletes facing two-year bans after being accused by the National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) in December of evading doping controls or failing to be available for them.

CONI said in a statement that decisions on the remaining 18 had still to be taken.

The case followed a police investigation in the northern Italian region of Trentino Alto Adige.

American-born Howe won the European long jump title in 2006 and a world championship silver medal a year later.

Donato, 39, was European triple jump champion in 2012 and finished third at the London Olympics the same year.

European marathon champion Daniele Meucci, Daniele Greco, Ruggero Pertile, Silvia Salis, Anna Incerti and Andrea Lalli were also acquitted, CONI said.

Italy's athletics federation has defended the 26, saying the affair was a question of inefficient procedures rather than illicit substances.

It has blamed communication failings due to faulty fax machines, problems with email passwords and digital apps that did not work properly.   Continued...

Italian Olympic bronze medallist Fabrizio Donato attends a news conference with the head of Italy's athletics federation Alfio Giomi in Rome, Italy December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile