November 6, 2018 / 9:30 PM / 14 days ago

Swimming: Former world champion Magnini handed four-year ban

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Preliminary - Men's 100m Freestyle - Heats - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. Filippo Magnini (ITA) of Italy competes. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler Picture Supplied by Action Images

ROME (Reuters) - Retired two times swimming world champion Filippo Magnini was handed a four-year ban by Italy’s anti-doping agency on Tuesday along with ex-relay team mate Michele Santucci.

The agency, NADO Italia, announced the penalty in a statement.

Magnini, 36, won 100 metre freestyle golds at the 2005 and 2007 world championships as well as a 4x200 freestyle relay bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He retired last year.

The anti-doping prosecutor had sought an eight-year term for actual or attempted doping in a case linked to nutritionist Guido Porcellini, who was given a 30-year ban in July for anti-doping violations.

Magnini, who has not tested positive and had been a critic of doping, denied the charges and said he would appeal.

“I haven’t done anything, this sentence is ridiculous,” the Gazzetta dello Sport quoted him as saying. “It’s a trial of intentions and I could never have imagined something like this.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis

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