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Former Italy striker Rossi relieved after avoiding doping ban

Former Manchester United and Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi

Rome, October 2: Former Manchester United and Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi has spoken of his relief at avoiding being hit with a drugs ban.

Rossi, who is currently without a club, reportedly gave a positive test for dorzolamide, an anti-glaucoma agent found in eye drops, after Genoa's 1-0 Serie A defeat to Benevento in May.

It was reported Rossi could be banned for a year, with his case handled by Italy's anti-doping agency, Nado Italia.

But at Monday's hearing the 31-year-old avoided a suspension, meaning he is free to sign for a new team and return to the pitch.

"We don't understand how this substance ended up among Rossi's foods," said Rossi's lawyer Sergio Puglisi Maraja. "There was no intentionality - the line of good faith and consistency prevailed."

And Rossi, whose former clubs include Fiorentina, Villarreal and Celta Vigo, posted on social media of his joy at not being given a ban from football.

"A nightmare of four months is over!" Rossi wrote on Twitter. "I only want to think about football and keep doing what I love more than anything else!"

Rossi left Genoa at the end of the 2017-18 season, during which he only managed to score one Serie A goal in nine appearances.

He has won 30 caps for Italy, scoring seven goals, but has not played for his country since a friendly against Republic of Ireland in 2014.

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    Story first published: Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 0:20 [IST]
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