The Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro says he did nothing wrong and was bothered by the outrage before he was cleared of doping last week. Cannavaro tested positive in August after using cortisone to treat a bee sting. An anti-doping prosecutor questioned the defender on Thursday and the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) anti-doping court officially dropped the case yesterday.
"My conscious is clean," Cannavaro said after joining Italy's team to prepare for a World Cup qualifier against Cyprus. "You get stung by a bee and you end up seeing yourself in the paper treated like a doper. I thought I was dreaming. Some papers and TV stations took it too far." Cortisone can be administered if authorization for therapeutic needs is granted beforehand, and it was unclear if Juventus received CONI's permission. Juventus and club physician Bartolomeo Goitre could still be sanctioned by CONI.
Elsewhere, Frank Lampard thinks Wayne Rooney's injury could be a blessing in disguise for England, as it will give other players the chance to shine in the final World Cup qualifier against Belarus at Wembley tomorrow. Rooney pulled out of the final game of England's qualification campaign with a calf injury but the Chelsea midfielder Lampard said: "He's obviously a good player, he's been in fantastic form. He's been the player of our campaign for sure, but it's quite nice for us to have to get along without him. There are other good players waiting for a chance. If we can see other players coming through then it's a good thing for us."
The Spanish football federation insist Liverpool forward Fernando Torres will not pull out of the squad for their final World Cup qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Torres has had some problems in his adductor muscle over the past week and, although he still played 53 minutes of Spain's victory over Armenia on Saturday, there was speculation he would withdraw from the squad. "Fernando Torres will not abandon the Spain camp as several media outlets have said," read a federation statement. "The forward, who has been hindered by some adductor pain, underwent a scan after lunch which showed encouraging results."
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has assured Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez he will not risk Torres if there is the slightest doubt over the striker's fitness. * With agencies