Sassuolo’s defender Francesco Acerbi has tested positive to the use of doping substances during the match against Cagliari. As a result, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has asked his immediate suspension, effective from Sunday’s match against Juventus.
However, the test result is due to a cancer treatment that Acerbi has been going through since this summer. During the pre-season medical controls he discovered to have a testicular cancer and underwent medical surgery. Since then he has been treated with gonadotropin, without, however, asking the exoneration to FIFA or UEFA.
Hence the situation is thorny. If Acerbi did not request an exemption he could be expelled for two years, as per the World Anti-Doping Association code.
Other precedents cannot be applied here: Fabio Cannavaro, who underwent cortisone treatment for a bee prick, had requested the exemption (although he hadn’t been granted one yet) and was never suspended.