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Giuseppe Rossi protests innocence after doping test failure

Giuseppe Rossi in action for Genoa during their defeat to Benevento in May. Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Giuseppe Rossi has said he is innocent after it emerged that he failed a doping test in May.

Former Italy international Rossi, without a club since being released by Genoa in the summer, tested positive for the use of a banned substance after Genoa had lost 1-0 to Benevento.

His case will be heard by the Italian National Anti-doping Organisation (NADO) on Oct. 1, but Rossi protested his innocence in a statement to the ANSA news agency.

"I've always been clean, and this is clearly a case to be archived," he said. "The positive test can reasonably be put down to an involuntary case of food contamination."

The 31-year-old's agent, Andrea Pastorello, said former Manchester United forward Rossi was "a clean person who has never had any disciplinary precedents, other than for an accumulation of yellow cards."

Pastorello added: "He is extremely disappointed about this whole story in which he has unwillingly found himself.

"He nevertheless finds it right to maintain an honest, correct behaviour towards the organs of sporting justice, affirming his total innocence and repeating that he could not reasonably know what food or drink could have been contaminated in the days leading up to the Benevento game."