A two-time freestyle swimming world champion in Italy is up against a potential year suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, according to new information released by the Italian national Anti-Doping Operation.
Filippo Magnini has won of the 100 m freestyle swimming competition twice for Italy and is considered by many in the sport to be one of the very best swimmers on the planet today. Many are shocked about the news regarding Magnini, considering the fact that he had been so vehemently opposed to individuals that “cut corners” and “cheated the sport” whenever he talked about previous athletes that had been suspended for performance-enhancing drugs.
Interestingly enough, however, is that the suspension for Magnini is more closely related to a multinational anti-doping investigation that has cantered entirely on the former nutritionist for Magnini, a Mr. Guido Porcellini.
Porcellinis, a world-class nutritionist and physician that had a close working relationship with a number of elite level Italian athletes, has recently been accused of black market and underground dealings with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Human Growth Hormone and anabolic steroids had both been uncovered in the home of Mr. Porcellini during a raid in October 2017, even though Mr. Porcellini has been rather adamant in his innocence.
Porcellini has, however, admitted to purchasing two boxes of HGH over the internet, but says that he had purchased the performance-enhancing drugs not to distribute to any of the world-class Italian athletes that he works with but instead to take advantage of the HGH self.
Magnini has been very vehement in the fact that he has never used and never would use performance-enhancing drugs, especially now considering the fact that he had retired from the sport of swimming just a short while ago.
Reporting that he never failed a drug test throughout his long and illustrious career, Magnini also made mention of the fact that he had been a vocal supporter of performance-enhancing drug testing and has also been one of the more vocal athletes in regards to news of other athletes popping positive.
In fact, Magnini was even the face of a major anti-doping advertising campaign, a campaign called “I am 100% PED free”. Magnini wore bracelets to support the group and organization on a regular basis, bringing light to the fact he was on the front lines fighting against those that tried to on even the playing field of competition.
Magnini continues to protest his innocence, is aggressively fighting back against this suspension, and wants to make sure that all of the accomplishments he was able to successfully record during his career aren’t tainted by this ugly black mark.
The evidence that the prosecution has against Magnini is rather flimsy, linking only business relationships and bank transactions between Magnini and Porcellini. The prosecution says that these bank transfers were for performance-enhancing drug purchases, but they are likely to have a very difficult (if not impossible) time proving this to be the case – especially with both Mr. Magnini and Mr. Porcellini contending that they are 100% innocent.
Interestingly enough, the international swimming community believe that the investigation and charges being brought up against Mr. Magnini (and a number of other teammate swimmers for the Italian national team) are all designed to get some of them to “flip” on Mr. Porcellini simply because the evidence against him is so flimsy right now.
Many are understandably upset about the heavy-handed tactics that the Italian anti-doping organization might be using against swimmers to catch coaches and nutritionists that may or may not be guilty, and it is certainly going to be interesting to see how everything shakes out during the trial that is currently set for September 2018.
Source: Lorette, R. June 6, 2018. RETIRED FORMER WORLD CHAMPION FILIPPO MAGNINI FACING POSSIBLE 8 YR BAN. Retrieved from: https://swimswam.com/retired-former-world-champion-filippo-magnini-facing-possible-8yr-ban/