Heart Trouble Sidelines Italian Olympic Champ -- November 7, 2003
MILAN, Italy, November 6. ITALIAN double Olympic gold medalist Domenico Fioravanti, 26, has been temporarily suspended from competition after failing a fitness test, throwing his participation in next year's Olympics into doubt, according to insweep.com and Italian newspapers.
The Italian Swimming Federation issued a statement saying that Fioravanti, who was the upset winner of both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke in Sydney in 2000, failed a routine medical test carried out by the country's Olympic Committee.
Fioravanti told Italy's "Sky" Television that the tests revealed a minor heart problem.
"This news has knocked me down, because it was unexpected," Fioravanti said.
"For years I have been monitored for a minor irregularity in my heartbeat. It is not a serious matter but when you are at a competitive level you need to be at 100 percent.
"We have tests every six months and there was an anomaly on the last one. It knocked me down but I will look to bounce back."
Fioravanti failed to medal in either of his events at this year's World Championships in Barcelona.