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Retired Italian swimmer Filippo Magnini has left the door open for a return to competition despite being three months removed from his 38th birthday.
After retiring in December of 2017, Magnini received a four-year ban from the court of Italy’s Anti-Doping Agency (NADO), along with fellow swimmer Michele Santucci, for their involvement with nutritionist Guido Porcellini.
In February, Magnini had his ban overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after his initial appeal had been rejected.
Speaking with Radio 24 on Wednesday, the two-time World Champion declared that his retirement status is by no means final.
“Before going back to the races you have to go back to training,” he said, translated from Italian. “I don’t know, I don’t close the doors. Even (Michael) Jordan, when he retired, said ‘I don’t close the door.’
“I am 38 years old, I would compete with those who are 20.”
However, he knows his experience is also a huge asset.
“Experience matters a lot in approaching the race and training,” he said. “Let’s say that at the age of 38, I know what to do.”
Having his ban lifted is a contributing factor to what has given him some added motivation.
“I won this three-year battle with sports justice,” he said. “The adrenaline comes back. Then I hear that they postponed the Olympics and think, ‘Hell, I have another year’. But for now, thoughts remain. You have to do what makes you feel good.”
Magnini won back-to-back World Championship gold medals in the men’s 100 freestyle in 2005 and 2007, tying with Canadian Brent Hayden in the latter. He owns two additional LC World medals from Italy’s 400 free relays in 2007 and 2015, and was also a three-time LC European champion in the 100 free.
The Pesaro native represented his country four times at the Olympics, including winning a bronze medal in the 800 free relay at the 2004 Games. His best individual Olympic finish also came in Athens, placing fifth in the 100 free.
His most recent major international competition came at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, where he was a finals contributor on both of the Italian men’s free relays.