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Italian distance runner given 36-year racing ban

This runner won't be able to race again until 2058

Alessandro Braconi Photo by: Alessandro Braconi/Strava

Italian distance runner Alessandro Braconi of Pallanza, Italy, will not be eligible to compete until 2058 after receiving a ban of 36 years for the use/attempted use, possession, and trafficking/attempted trafficking of a prohibited substance. This follows his provisional suspension after a positive drug test in March 2022.

Braconi, 36, originally received a 12-year ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit in October, but since doping is a criminal offense in Italy, he had to explain his actions to authorities, and then the Italian Athletics Federation (FIDAL) added on another 24 years. 

In May, he was found racing the Lago Maggiore Half Marathon in Stresa, Italy, despite his 12-year disqualification. Although the substance Braconi used/trafficked was not revealed by FIDAL or the AIU, he will be unable to compete until he’s 72.

Alessandro Braconi
Photo: Alessandro Braconi/Strava

Braconi, a 1:19 half marathoner, holds one of the longest bans on the AIU database that isn’t a lifetime ban. He was one of two Italian athletes on the latest AIU list, the other being distance runner and former semi-pro cyclist Christian Barchi, who originally incurred a six-year ban, but after he was found competing for a second time while he was sanctioned, incurred an additional penalty, taking his ban to 2031.

A few European nations have made doping a criminal offense to help control cheating in athletics. Many in the running community have called for all nations to adopt this approach.

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