ROME - The Italian Olympic Committee released a statement Tuesday, anouncing to appeal to the Italian soccer federation on lengthening Sampdoria Francesco Flachi's doping ban.
The forward has been handed a 16-month ban last week by the Italian league after traces of cocaine were found in his system following Sampdoria's 2-0 away loss at Inter Milan on January 28.
The committee had recommended a two-year ban, but the league's disciplinary committee decided last week to reduce it by eight months since it was Flachi's first drug offense.
Flachi, who was also banned for two months by the league in September for illegal betting, said the cocaine was contained in a cigarette he was offered by someone he didn't know after a dinner the day his second son was born.
The 32-year-old player's lawyer Paolo Rodella said his client would appeal to reduce the ban.