No jail for drug cheats: Games official - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No jail for drug cheats: Games official

By Karolos Grohmann 07/02/2006 05:52:42 AM Comments (0)

Athletes who test positive for banned substances during the Turin Olympics will be prosecuted to the full extent of the Italian criminal law but will not face jail time, the Italian government's chief Olympic official Mario Pescante told reporters on Monday.

"If the athlete tests positive, the Italian court will intervene and there is no exception," he said. "Any athlete no matter what nationality will be submitted to Italian law."

But he added they were not in danger of being sent to jail.

In Italy, judges can waive jail sentences for prison terms of up to two years and first-time offenders are usually granted suspended sentences for jail terms of up to two years.

Italy has refused to bring its strict doping laws in line with Olympic rules and respect a commitment made by organisers when the country was awarded the Winter Games.

Doping is a criminal offence in Italy while the International Olympic Committee foresees only non-penal sanctions.

Pescante said: "The maximum of penal sanctions (for such offences) is two years and (for offences) up to two years we do not (serve) prison-time in Italy."

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