Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has been cleared of doping after failing a drugs test following treatment for an insect sting, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Monday.
Cannavaro used cortisone-based medication to treat a wasp sting - a decision that his club Juventus described as "indispensable to prevent complications, including lethal ones". However, important documentation was absent from his subsequent application for an exemption from drugs tests.
CONI have now delivered their verdict and have opted to drop the case against Cannavaro who is expected his lead his side at the 2010 World Cup following their qualification for the finals on Saturday.
"(CONI's anti-doping tribunal) has dropped proceedings against Fabio Cannavaro, considering well-founded the prosecutor's request for them to be dropped," read a statement on CONI's website.
Cannavaro is very disappointed by the way that the case has been covered by the Italian media, with the 36-year-old claiming he has always conducted himself in an "exemplary" fashion.
"It really annoys me. And in case you didn't understand properly I'll repeat that, it really annoys me,'' he said. "I have a clean conscience. Someone gets stung by a bee and finds themselves in the paper as if they were a drug user. When it happened I thought I was dreaming. Some newspapers and television stations really exaggerated.''
It is not the first time Cannavaro has been at the centre of a drugs controversy. In 1999 the then Parma defender was filmed the night before the UEFA Cup final injecting himself with a substance - later proved to be the legal drug neoton.
"This is the second time I find myself in the paper for stories of this sort,'' continued Cannavaro. "That time it was really stupid of me to let myself be filmed, even if the substance was not illegal. This time there was stupidity on Juve's part but it all seems exaggerated to me. I hope these doubts don't follow me beyond today, my career has been exemplary and I have always followed the rules.''