Devis Licciardi, a long-distance runner with the Air Force Team, is alleged to have filled a fake penis with ‘clean’ urine and tried to use it as a sample during a test on Saturday, Mediaset’s TGCom24 reported.
He was caught during the test following a 10km race in Molfetta, Bari.
It is unclear from the reports exactly how Licciardi attempted to dodge the system but according to anti-doping test guidelines, an athlete usually provides a urine sample under the direct observation of a Doping Control Officer (DCO) of the same gender.
A spokeswoman for UKAD, the UK’s anti-doping organization, told The Local that although there is a lot of ‘hearsay’ of similar cases, it is rare to hear of an athlete managing to cheat strict international standards in such a way.
“In the UK, we operate very strict procedures whereby one of the doping control experts would be there to see the sample leave the athletes body,” she said.
Licciardi faces a hearing in Rome on Wednesday.