The efforts of Italy’s 3,000 metres steeplechase champion, Moroccan-born Jamel Chatbi, to compete in the Olympic Games have been blocked by the National Anti-Doping Tribunal, which has defied a court ruling and suspended him for missing three scheduled doping tests last year.
Chatbi, who completed a three-year doping ban in 2012, successfully appealed against a further ban to Lazio’s regional administrative court (TAR) last week.
TAR judge Riccardo Savoia ruled that the Italian Prime Miinister Matteo Renzi must take measures to ensure the "immediate departure" of Chatbi on tonight's Alitalia Rome-Rio flight at 21:50 local time or, "at the latest", on the same flight on Tuesday.
But legal experts said that decision was not binding upon the International Olympic Committee.
Chatbi had posted on his Twitter account that he had undergone five doping tests in the previous 40 days.
Seven years ago he had qualified second in his semi-final at the 2009 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships behind Kenya’s eventual champion Ezekiel Kemboi but had withdrawn from the final after a mandatory doping test had shown the presence of the banned substance clenbuterol.
Chatbi, who is based in northern Italy, set a Mediterranean Games record of 8min 13.11sec in 2009.