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UPDATE—Giuseppe Rossi reprimanded, free to play

It doesn’t really make sense.


News that former Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi, still without a club after being released by Genoa in the summer, failed a drug test administered after a match on May 12.

The strange thing is the drug concerned, dorzolamide, is not exactly common; its only use is to reduce pressure in your eye (glaucoma results from increased pressure in your eye). So unless you’ve been using eyedrops with it, it’s not the sort if thing you would take by chance.

Rossi and his agent, the faithful Andrea Pastorello, released a statement where they noted that given that Rossi passed a test the week before the positive one, this was likely a case of involuntary contamination. However, the Italian prosecutor has decided to press ahead with the case and is asking for a one-year ban for Rossi (presumably dating from May 12).

It’s a confusing case involving a player who has never been found guilty of anything except yellow-card accumulation and has fought his way back from numerous injuries, and a drug which appears to have no real doping value, though it is on the list of substances permitted only with an exemption, which Rossi does not have (I suppose it could be used as a diuretic to mask something else, but I couldn’t find any evidence that anyone has ever done this or been accused of it).

Unfortunately, given the number of sports heroes who have been found to have ‘juiced’ or ‘doped’, being accused pretty much includes an assumption of guilt, not innocence. Rossi has to fight that, and in addition the Italian prosecutor—who has nothing to gain from dropping the case, and everything to gain by prosecuting it.

There will be a hearing on October 1 at which time Rossi could be sanctioned for up to a year. That’s all we know for now.

UPDATE: At the hearing, Rossi was “reprimanded”, but not banned. No intent was found and exactly how Rossi could have ingested this was not ascertained.