Son of Libyan Leader Fails Doping Test

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Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003
Son of Libyan Leader Fails Doping Test

ROME (AP) - The son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi tested positive for a performance-enhancing steroid after a Serie A soccer match, the Italian Olympic Committee said Wednesday.

Saadi Gadhafi, who recently signed with Perugia in the top Italian league, was found to have an amount of norandrosterone in his system that exceeded the allowable limit.

Gadhafi has not yet played for Perugia in an official match, but players are randomly chosen for testing after every match.

The Italian soccer league can impose suspensions for failed doping exams, with recent penalties of about five months. In the past, suspensions have extended up to 16 months but were often reduced.

``I was surprised when I heard the news,'' Gadhafi, who has been treated for a bad back, told Qatar-based TV network al-Jazeera.

``There will be a comprehensive investigation of the past few months when I visited several doctors in Italy, Germany and in Libya to make sure which doctor gave me this substance that appeared in the test.''

The team has 10 days to ask for a second test to confirm the results.

``Unfortunately this case has international implications,'' said Claudio Mele of the Italian Olympic Committee, which oversees doping exams for all sports in Italy.

According to Perugia's Web site, Gadhafi has been on the bench for two Serie A games: a 0-0 draw with Reggina on Oct. 5, and a 2-2 draw with Bologna on Oct. 19.

``He's with us knowing he's not playing, so he wouldn't have a reason to take any doping substance,'' Perugia president Luciano Gaucci was quoted as telling the Italian news agency Apcom.

Gaucci was quoted as saying the positive test was likely due to medicine Gadhafi was given for an injury while being treated in Germany. He didn't identify the medicine.
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