Sandro Donati

Investigator, Freelance


Sandro Donati's fight against doping has caused dramatic changes nationally as well as internationally. In the beginning of the 80s he discovered a massive, systematic doping programme which was supported by the Italian Athletics Federation.

He continued to reveal cases of doping and corruption during the 80s and was fired from his job in 1987 by the Italian Olympic Committee, CONI.

In 1992, he was rehired by CONI as Head of Research.

During the 90s, Donati discovered the vast use of EPO in cycling and revealed scandal upon scandal within CONI regarding doping and corruption.

Finally, in 1998, his revealings lead to a series of public investigations and CONI’s president, Mario Pescante, was forced to leave.

Today, Sandro Donati works as a consultant of the Minister of Social Affairs in Italy. He is a distinguished doping expert and regarded as one of the leading forces behind the fight against doping.

Specialised in Athletics, speed and middle distance races, by the Central School of Sport of C.O.N.I., Professor of Sport. Degree in Science of coaching from the University Claude Bernard in Lione, France.

Athletic National Coach Experience

  • Responsibility for National Coaching 400 m from 78 until 1981
  • Responsibility for National Coaching 800 m e 1500 m from 82 until 1984
  • Responsibility for National Coaching 400 m from 1985 to 1986
  • Responsibility for National Coaching 100 m, 200 m, 4x100 m, 400 m, 4x400 m, 800 m, 1987

Other sports responsibilities

  • Responsible for the Research and Development Division of the C.O.N.I. from 1990 until 2000
  • President of the Italian Technical Association of Athletics from 1990 until 1992

Bibliographical informations

  • 1974 "New methods for middle distance races"
  • 1976 "Sport Talents Research"
  • 1977 "Middle distance training valuation"
  • 1979 "Training for sprint events"
  • 1979 "Training for hurdlers"
  • 1982 "The training organisation"
  • 1983 "Middle distance training for young athletes"
  • 1988 "Champions without worth" (about doping)
  • 1992 "New frontiers of the training"
  • 1993 "The valuation for young athletes"
  • 1994 "The young sports activity in Italy"
  • 1997 "The dictionary of sports training"
  • 1999 "Some chapters in "The Treccani Sports Encyclopedia"
  • 2000 "The Scientific Protocol for Athletes Blood Controls - National Project"

Main Athletes

  • Mauro Zuliani, 400 m. 45'26 (1981).
  • Riccardo Materazzi, 1.500 m. 3'35\79 (1984), Silver Medal in the European Championships in Gotenborg, Olympic Final in Los Angeles.
  • Alberto Barsotti, 800 m. 1'45'3 (1985), Bronze Medal in European J. Ch. 1982.
  • Claudio Patrignani, 1.500 m. 3'36'08 (1983), Gold Medal in the World University Games, Edmonton 83.
  • Stefano Cecchini, 800 m. 1'46'60, 1.500 m. 3'38'67.
  • Alessio Faustini, 10.000 m. 28'39'0, Marathon Gold Medal in the World University Games, Edmonton 83.
  • Stefano Mei, 5.000 m. 13'11'57, Silver Medal in European Ch. 1986, 10.000 m. 27\'40\", Gold Medal European Ch., 1987.
  • Roberto Tozzi, 400 m. 46'03, Silver Medal Indoor European Ch., Goten-borg 1984.
  • Donato Sabia, 400 m. 45'73, 800 m. 1'43'88, Gold Medal European In-door Ch., Gotenborg 1984, Olympic Final in Los Angeles and in Seul.
  • Roberto Ribaud, 400 m. 45'69.
  • P.Francesco Pavoni, 60 m. 6'58, Silver Medal European Indoor Ch., Lievin 1987, 200 m. 20\"38, 100 m. and 200 m. Final World Ch. Roma 1987.
  • Antonio Ullo, 60 m. 6'59, Bronze Medal European Indoor Ch., Lievin 1987.
  • 4x400 m., Bronze Medal Olimpic Games 1980, first European Cup 1981.
  • Ashraf Saber, 400 m. Bronze Medal European Indoor Championship 1996 Stoccolm, 400 m H 49'08.
  • Anna Maria Di Terlizzi, 100 m H Italian Champion 1998.

Training methodology adviser for different Italian National Teams:

  • Nordic Ski from 1977 to 1980;
  • Alpine Ski from 1977 to 1982;
  • Rowing from 1977 to 1979, from 1996 to 1998;
  • Volley ball (man and women) from 1994 to 1999;
  • Basket ball (women) from 1996 to 1998;
  • Roller-Skating (men and women) from 1997 to 2000;
  • Fencing (men and women) from 1997 to 1999;
  • Swimming (men and women) from 1996 to 1998.

Other Institutional charges

  • Adviser for Italian Parliament for the law project against doping;
  • Member of Scientific Commission for Italian Ministry of Education;
  • Member of Italian Scientific Commission against doping;
  • Scientific Responsible for the Italian Ministry of Education about the Educational Project "The doping prevention in the young people";
  • Scientific Responsible for Rome Municipality about the Project "The School Teachers role in the doping prevention";
  • Adviser for French Minister "de la Jeunesse et des sports"

Presentations at Play the Game conferences:

Doping must be tackled at the source; the rest is appearance - Play the Game 2015

The cocaine connection in sport - Play the Game 2009 (PP Pdf.)

Visions for a doping-free sports culture - Play the Game 2007 (PP Pdf.)

Criminality in the International Doping Trade - Play the Game 2005 (Pdf.)

Play the Game

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