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Jan 8, 2013

Reports: Conte cleared of Bari charges

BARI, Italy -- Juventus coach Antonio Conte reportedly has been cleared of more match-fixing, this time stemming from when he coached Bari from 2008 to 2009.

Bari prosecutors are wrapping up their inquiry and are in the process of notifying 20 people that they are under investigation -- and Conte is not one of them, Italian media reported Tuesday.

Inter Milan and former Bari defender Andrea Ranocchia also was reportedly cleared.

Conte and Ranocchia could still be called in for questioning by the Italian soccer federation.

Among those named as being under investigation are current Torino and former Bari goalkeeper Jean Francois Gillet and Conte's former assistant, Cristian Stellini. Nearly all of the others are also former Bari players.

Conte was banned for four months at the start of this season for failing to report fixing when he coached Siena two seasons ago. He remains under investigation by prosecutors in Cremona. The Italian maintains he is innocent.

Two of Bari's Serie B matches were allegedly fixed -- Bari-Treviso (0-1) on May 10, 2008; and Salernitana-Bari (3-2) on May 23, 2009.

Conte coached Bari in the second half of the 2007-08 season and in 2008-09. He led Atalanta in the first half of 2009-10, then guided Siena in 2010-11, leading the Tuscan club in its promotion back to Serie A. He joined Juventus last season and led the club to the Serie A title, and Juve again tops the table this season.

At least 50 people have been arrested in Italy for match-fixing since the middle of 2011, with scores more under investigation by prosecutors in Cremona, Bari and Napoli.

The Bari prosecutors have based a large part of their inquiries on the confessions of former Bari defenders Andrea Masiello and Vittorio Micolucci. Masiello was arrested in April, while Micolucci was involved in the Cremona inquiry and banned by sports authorities.

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