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Saturday, 1 December, 2001, 01:42 GMT
Longo to fight drugs ban
Andrea Longo coasts home during one of the 800m heats at the Sydney Olympics
Longo was disqualified from the Olympics for barging
Italian 800 metres runner Andrea Longo has vowed to overturn his two-year ban imposed following a positive test for the banned steroid nandrolone.

Longo described the decision as a "scandal" and maintains his innocence.

The Italian Athletics Federation has suspended Longo, who finished sixth in the World Championships in Seville two years ago, until 17 August 2003.

And as a result, Turin's public prosecutor has ordered a national seizure of a dietary supplement, known as BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acid), linked to the case.

I will be on the track again in June because these people don't know who they are dealing with
Andrea Longo

The 26-year-old policeman had tested positive for nandrolone in a sample given after a race in Turin on 9 June.

He said: ""It does not end here. This is a scandal.

"I am the only one of all the sportsmen involved in this problem who has demonstrated scientifically my good faith and I get two years.

"On this basis, these gentlemen arrogate themselves the right to decide on the life - not just the sport - of an individual.

"But it's not over. I will be on the track again in June because these people don't know who they are dealing with."

Longo competed for Italy at the Sydney Olympics where he was disqualified in the final after barging Switzerland's Andre Bucher.

He is the second top Italian athlete to be handed a long ban in recent weeks.

Marathon runner Roberto Barbi was suspended for four years last month after testing positive for the banned substance EPO at the World Championships in Edmonton.

See also:

28 Nov 01 |  Athletics
Skurygin stopped in tracks
26 Nov 01 |  Athletics
Sotomayor denies drug charges
06 Nov 01 |  Athletics
Engquist's fall from grace
27 Oct 01 |  Other Sports
IOC chief calls on 'clean' athletes
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