the essentials In Venice, the gondolier Renato Busetto was suspended for 13 months. His title for second place in the historic Regatta of the City of the Doges was also withdrawn: he tested positive for cannabis.
The competition takes place every September on the Grand Canal in Venice, where different types of boats compete, including two-oar “gondolini” – boats that are lighter and faster than traditional “gondolas” – on which the Busetto brothers competed. Renato and Roberto Busetto, won second place in this sporting event on September 5th. During the usual doping controls at the end of the competition, which are only carried out on the teams occupying the first and second place, one sample was found positive.
An “unfair” decision
After a further examination of the blood and urine samples taken on September 5, the municipal commission responsible for deciding in these situations ordered the suspension for months of Renato Busetto.
According to Venezia Today, a local newspaper, the second place will not be reallocated but will remain vacant. For Busetto’s lawyer, this is an “unfair” decision towards the brothers, who will be excluded from the next historic Regatta. The modern regatta was born in 1841 when the municipality of Venice asked the Austrian authorities to allow the organization of an annual boat race along the Grand Canal in order to encourage the gondoliers to practice.