Italian anti-doping body calls for bans on 26 athletes

The accusations followed a police investigation in Trento, in northern Italy.

Rome: Italian anti-doping authorities have called for two-year bans for 26 athletes, including Olympic bronze medallist Fabrizio Donato and European champion long jumper Andrew Howe, for allegedly failing to provide doping samples, media reports said on Wednesday.

Italy`s National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO), accused the 26 of "evasion, refusal and failure to submit themselves to providing biological samples", the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper reported.

The athletes named by the organisation included Howe, who won the European title in 2006 and a world silver medal a year later, Donato, who was European triple jump champion in 2012 and won a bronze at the London Olympics the same year, and 2014 European marathon champion Daniele Meucci.

The accusations followed a police investigation in Trento, in northern Italy.

None of the accused had yet responded publicly, reports said. Gazzetta said the accusations could have repercussions for Italy`s hopes at next year`s Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.