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Gondoliers undergo drug tests in response to deadly accident

'We want to clean up our image, we're not a bunch of addicts'

26 February, 18:12
Gondoliers undergo drug tests in response to deadly accident (ANSA) - Venice, February 26 - A group of 23 gondoliers underwent voluntary drug testing Wednesday in an effort to improve their reputation marred by a recent display of public inebriation and a deadly accident. "We want to clean up our image. We aren't a bunch of drug addicts," was the slogan used marking the urine tests conducted in a site off the Grand Canal. Last August a German tourist was killed beneath the Rialto Bridge when a water bus collided with his gondola manned by a gondolier who tested positive for drugs. The month before, a video surfaced on YouTube showing a group of gondoliers hazing an aspiring assistant by forcing him to strip off his clothes and swim in a canal off St Mark's Square.

Drugs or alcohol were suspected to have been involved.

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