ESPN has reported that Italian sweeper Fabio Cannavaro failed a drug test. They didn't say what type of drug it was. Given that Cannavaro sort of looks like a mix between Vin Diesel and Eminem, has lots of tattoos and his preferred hair style is a shaved, you would think that he would have been busted for crystal meth or cocaine. But it appears its just another random 'cream' substance.
I don't really want to dive too much into the steroid discussion with this post. One reason is because it's a little depressing to think that it has infiltrated the beautiful game. One wouldn't think that steroids would be used much by soccer players because as demonstrated from Pele to Messi, it's not a game that is always dominated by the biggest or strongest player. But that doesn't mean that some players might not use substances to recover from injuries faster; or to be as strong and fast and be able to compete with the young players - as would probably be the case with Cannavaro.
But the main reason I don't care to focus on the steroids is because the excuses are always much more entertaining than the story that the person failed the drug test.
Lets start with Cannavaro. Here is the reason provided by Juventus as to the possible reason for the failed test:
''With regards to the news of the launch of an investigation by the Procura Antidoping involving player Fabio Cannavaro, the medical division of Juventus state that they acted within the sanitary prescriptions and the deontological rules, intervening in an urgent manner - last August - following the worsening of the clinical condition following the sting by an insect.
''On that occasion a medical remedy which was indispensable in order to prevent eventual complications, even lethal ones, was used. The player and the medical staff of Juventus will be at the disposal of the Procura to clarify this issue as soon as possible, as well as eventual documentation.''
That's right. When in doubt, go with the bee sting excuse. Not that Cannavaro could come up with any believable excuse since the article says that there is video of him being injected with performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. Video evidence is pretty damning. Hard to talk your way out of that one. But with no video evidence like this one, the best you can come up with was that it was the bug bite cream? Really?
Here are other notable excuses from other sports:
Shane Warne: Cricket. Excuse: Borrowed a pill from his mom to reduce puffiness in his face.
Blaming your mom? Come on. At least blame your girlfriend younger brother or something. Not your mom.
Richard Gasqut: Pro Tennis Player. Excuse: He tested positive for cocaine because he kissed a french woman that may have taken the drug.
"Kissing" must have been used loosely here. When he says kiss he must mean that she licked the inside of his vein, not his mouth.
Ben Johnson: Sprinter. Excuse: His herbal drink was spiked the night before the race.
Come on. Do we really believe he drank his herbs?
Austrian ski team. They were accused and found guilty after blood transfusion materials in their hotel room. Excuse: The equipment was used for ultraviolet radiation treatment of athlete's blood to treat and prevent colds and flu.
Radiation treatment to prevent colds and flu? Radiation? Did they also have cancer? Sounds like rather strong preventative medicine for your common cold.
There are of course plenty more, but they are all the same. Fabio Cannavaro's bee sting cream excuse is creative, but hardly believable. I would be disappointed except that for some reason it doesn't appear that anyone has been able to come up with much better.