British-born sprinter has competed for Italy since 2016 at world and Olympic level
Antonio Infantino’s athletics career saw him win three English Schools sprints titles and three victories over 200m at the British Indoor Championships before he switched to represent Italy five years ago and has since raced for the Azzurri at the World Championships and Olympics.
But on Wednesday (Dec 15) the Italian athletics federation (FIDAL) announced he was suspended for breaking the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.
According to FIDAL he broke WADA rules 2.1 and 2.2 relating to the “presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample” and “use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or prohibited method”.
Infantino was born in Welwyn Garden City to Italian parents who had met in London. A talented footballer, he was in the Watford academy in his youth whereas in athletics he won English Schools gold at 100m in 2005 and 200m in 2007 and 2008.
After going on to study philosophy at King’s College London he won the British Universities 200m title and went on to finish first at the British Indoor Championships over 200m.
He did not always receive the gold medal for these victories, though, because he switched to run for Italy in 2016 and won the 2018 British indoor 200m, for example, wearing Italian colours, with the British title instead going to runner-up Edmond Amaning.
Infantino also won AAA and Inter-Counties titles and then took Italian 200m titles when he switched nations.
After one of his British indoor 200m victories, he told AW he had always been encouraged to support the Italian football team as a child and that his favourite athletics moment was Pietro Mennea’s long-standing world 200m record of 19.72 from 1979.
In 2016 he reached the European 200m semi-finals in Amsterdam for Italy, ran in the heats of the World Championships in 2019 and at the Tokyo Olympics this year finished fifth in his heat in 20.90. His best times, however, are 10.26 for 100m and 20.41 for 200m – both of which were set in 2019.