Officials reject easier doping law for Italy

ROME (AP) – Italy’s health minister and Olympic chief have ruled out any relaxation of the country’s strict anti-doping laws during the Winter Games in Turin. Health Minister Francesco Storace said athletes who risk taking banned substances should simply «stay at home,» the news agency Apcom reported during his visit to Turin yesterday. Athletes can face criminal sanctions for doping violations under Italian law, raising the possibility of police raids in the Olympic village. Under International Olympic Committee rules, athletes can be disqualified for doping violations at the Games but should not face criminal penalties. Gianni Petrucci, the head of Italy’s national Olympic committee, also insisted the rules would not be changed.