Swimming: Magnini gets 4-yr ban

'Sentence already written' says ex-star

(ANSA) - Rome, November 6 - Former Italian swimming champion Filippo Magnini got a four-year ban for doping Tuesday.
    The two-time former world 100m freestyle champ, 36, was banned by the national anti-doping tribunal of the National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) for taking banned substances.
    Prosecutors had asked for an eight-year ban.
    Magnini, also a three-time European 100m freestyle champ, retired a couple of years ago. He is the best Italian freestyle swimmer of all time along with Giorgio Lamberti.
    "It's a sentence that was already written and that's why I'm royally pissed off," said Magnini.
    ..."We're talking about picking on me, forcing the issue," he said, saying a prosecutor had told him "it's become a personal thing".
    Magnini said the words used against him by prosecutor Pierfilippo Laviani were "very serious".
    "There is no proof, indeed the evidence demonstrates the opposite. We will certainly appeal".
    He said he was an example for his sport, like Cristiano Ronaldo said he was for soccer, commenting on historic rape claims.
    Magnini has paid for his involvement with nutritionist Guido Porcellini, banned by NADO for 30 years.
    The criminal case against Magnini has been shelved.