Italian Anti-Doping Org. Releases Details of Di Giorgio’s 8 Month Suspension

Italy’s National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) has released documents outlining the reduction of the suspension of Alex Di Giorgio from the statutory maximum of 4 years to just 8 months. That suspension is due to expire on June 7th.

According to SwimSwam Italia’s Giusy Cisale, the committee that heard the case believed an explanation of accidental contamination.

Di Giorgio tested positive for the banned substance ostarina in September 2020, but the amount found in his blood was one nanogram per liter (.001 micrograms per liter).

The court accepted, based on the small amount found, di Giorgio’s defense of accidental ingestion. That allowed the panel to first reduce the suspension from 4 years to 2 years. There is no minimum threshold of ostarine for sanction, however, so that small reading in-and-of-itself doesn’t absolve him of penalty.

The court did, however, use that standard to reduce the suspension further to 8 months – which doesn’t usually happen without a proposed contamination source. In this case, no contamination source was proposed.

Di Giorgio’s test was conducted on September 13 in Livigno, Italy during a training camp. He has been given a temporary suspension by the Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal and faces up to a 4 year ban for a first offense.

The drug is intended to target the body’s androgen receptors to cause them to respond similarly to how they would to testosterone but without the side effects.

In 2017, in the US, a dietary supplement called Tri-Ton was tested by the USFDA and found to contain ostarine. In 2016, according to the Sports Integrity Initiative, there were only 28 AAFs across all sports for the substance, much lower than the more common stanozolol, for example, which had 294 findings.

While ostarine is not approved for human use or consumption anywhere in the world, it has increasingly turned up in supplements and has seen a growing number of positive tests. By 2018, the most recent report released by WADA, there were 45 positive tests. IN 2018, the Sports Integrity Initiative reported that at least 60 products on its “High Risk List” that contained ostarine.

The 30-year old swimmer was a member of the Italian 800 free relay that won gold at the 2013 Mediterranean Games. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, he swam a leg on Italy’s prelims 800 free relay, where he split 1:47.74 and the team placed 9th. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, he also swam on the prelims 800 free relay, splitting 1:47.93 as the relay finished 11th.

He most recently trained at the Federal Center of Verona under coach Matteo Giunta in a group that includes the country’s most famous swimmer Federica Pellegrini, along with Stefania Pirozzi, Carlotta Zofkova, and others.

Di Giorgio also must pay the cost of the proceedings, calculated at 378 Euros.

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2 months ago

We can thank the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Swiss Federal Court for each athlete being strictly liable for the substances found in his or her bodily specimen. Even at 0.001 micrograms per liter.

2 months ago

It just seems random….. 4 months, 8 months, 2 years, 4 years. Like a lottery depending on which country you are in.

2 months ago

We have to either review the anti doping rules or just ban every and any supplement out there.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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