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Italy Suspends Two Soccer Players

July 20, 2001

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Fernando Couto, the captain of Portugal’s national team, and Belgian goalie Jean Francois Gillet were both suspended 10 months by the Italian League for failing drug tests.

Couto also was fined $45,000 by the disciplinary commission, while Gillet received a $22,500 fine Friday.

Couto played for Lazio last season, Gillet for Bari.

The 30-year-old Couto tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone after Lazio’s game against Fiorentina in January. He was suspended from league play in April, when the results of a second test on his urine was completed. Gillet also originally was suspended in April.

The players and their teams can appeal the ruling.

The commission also suspended Nicola Caccia (eight months) and Stefano Sacchetti (10 months) of second-division club Piacenza.

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