The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Wednesday that Perugia midfielder Saadi al-Qadhafi has become the third Serie A footballer to fail a random drugs test this year.

Should a second test prove conclusive, al-Qadhafi can expect a lengthy ban.

A Libyan international and vice-president of his national sports federation, al-Qadhafi has not yet represented the Italian first division side since signing a one-year contract in the summer.

Controversy

The 30-year-old former al-Ittihad player is no stranger to controversy.

He employed disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson as his personal trainer in Libya three years ago. Johnson was stripped of his 100 metres gold medal for using drugs at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Last month, Inter Milan's Sierra Leone striker Muhammad Kallon tested positive for nandrolone, while Parma midfielder Manuele Blasi tested positive for norandrosterone. Both players have been suspended until further notice.

Italy has seen a series of drug scandals in recent years. Two years ago Lazio's Dutch defender Jaap Stam and former Spain international Pep Guardiola, who at the time was playing for Brescia, were both suspended for testing positive for nandrolone.