Lazio fine; president, doctors banned over test violations

Lazio president Claudio Lotito was banned for seven months, the Serie A club fined €150,000 ($176,925) and two doctors banned for 12 months by a national federal court on Friday, as punishment for COVID-19 protocol violations.

Team doctors Fabio Rodia and Ivo Pulcini were suspended for a year following an investigation into breaches of league rules in October and November last year.

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The club risked a Serie A points deduction or even relegation, but the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) prosecutor didn’t request any points penalty.

The prosecutor asked for a €200,000 fine, a ban of 13 months and 10 days for Lotito and 16-month bans for Rodia and Pulcini, but the sentence handed out was more lenient.

A FIGC investigation was opened on Nov. 3 over potential violations of protocols regarding COVID-19 testing. The club’s training ground was inspected and swab test results were seized.

On Feb. 16, the FIGC charged the club with “violations of federal regulations and a lack of observance of the health protocols in force” and referred Lazio, Lotito, Pulcini and Rodia to the national federal court.

Lazio denied wrongdoing and said in a statement: “We trust in sporting justice.”

The FIGC’s list of violations included failing to promptly report positive cases to the local health authority, failing to stop three players from attending a training session after receiving positive tests and twice failing to enforce a mandatory 10-day isolation period on an asymptomatic player, who was subsequently involved in a Serie A game.

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