Atalanta Defender Palomino Preventively Suspended for Doping

Atalanta and FIGC, the Italian Football Association, announced that José Luis Palomino has been preventively suspended for doping as he tested positive for a banned substance. The result originated in a surprise round of checks during the pre-season retreat in early July.

As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, the PED in question is the steroid Clostebol. It is contained in the Trofordemin ointment, which was the culprit also in the most recent case in Calcio, Fabio Lucioni. The Benevento captain was disqualified for a year in 2017.

Palomino faces a punishment of up to two years if the doping-related infraction was involuntary, four if deliberate. It does not appear that to be the case. The sanctions are generally reduced through appeals if athletes manage to prove their good faith.

The Atalanta center-back is not the first one to fall victim to such a drug, even though it is stated in its packaging that it contains an illicit component. On top of Lucioni, paralympic champion Martina Caironi and Armani Jeans Milan basketball player Riccardo Maraschini were banned for eight-to-twelve months for the same reason. Instead, Christian Burns, who was starring for the same team, was cleared as he proved that he simply handled the lotion without applying it.

Palomino was shocked to learn about his positivity and will collaborate with the anti-doping agency. He has three days to ask for further tests. If the outcome were the same, his trial would start after the summer, so well after the opener, barring a plea bargain beforehand.