Pole-vault ace quits sport over doping claim

MILAN - Former pole-vault world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco has said he will quit the sport after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) asked for him to be banned for two years for a doping violation.

MILAN - Former pole-vault world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco has said he will quit the sport after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) asked for him to be banned for two years for a doping violation.

CONI, which acts as Italy's anti-doping authority, told the Italian Athletics Federation on Friday to impose the maximum ban on the 28-year-old, who won gold at the world championships in Paris in 2003.

Gibilisco, in Padua for a meet, is waiting to hear if the federation will ratify the ban but has already made up his mind.

"I will jump here at Padua, Tuesday at Lausanne and perhaps Sunday the 15th at Sheffield. Then I will leave athletics. I have been treated like a criminal. This is no longer my world," Gibilisco told yesterday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I have never doped, I have never thought of doing it and with this I look everyone in the eye without fear."

The probe investigation into Gibilisco, who also took bronze at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, is part of a long-running probe into the clients of doctor Carlo Santuccione, who is alleged to have supplied athletes with dope.

Cyclist Danilo Di Luca, this year's Giro d'Italia winner, is scheduled to attend a doping hearing next Saturday as part of the probe. - Reuters

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