Juve doctor convicted of doping

Club doctor Riccardo Agricola was found guilty of sporting fraud after a trial investigating doping at Juventus FC.

Appeal intended
Agricola was also ordered to pay a €2,000 fine. Defence lawyer Paolo Trofino told reporters the judge had found Agricola guilty of administering the banned blood-booster EPO but confirmed the defence intended to appeal.

EPO administration
"He was condemned for what was the weak point of the prosecution's charges, the administration of EPO," said Trofino. "It is a sentence that will be difficult to get through appeal." EPO is a synthetic hormone that stimulates the body's production of red blood cells, increasing oxygen transport and endurance.

Successful spell
The trial looked at Juve's medical practices between 1994 and 1998, a period when they won three Serie A titles and also the 1996 UEFA Champions League. It is unlikely that Agricola will have to serve time in prison because, in Italy, first offences are often suspended. "We are very satisfied about Giraudo but there is a little bitterness for Agricola," Trofino said.

Lengthy investigation
Turin public prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello began investigating allegations against the 27-time Italian champions Juventus in 1998. France's Zinedine Zidane, former Chelsea FC manager Gianluca Vialli and former European Footballer of the Year Roberto Baggio were among those who appeared during the Turin trial which started in September 2002.

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