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Davide Astori: Italian doctor sentenced for manslaughter over death of Fiorentina footballer

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Supporters display a poster during the funeral ceremony of Davide Astori in Florence in March 2018.
Supporters display a poster during the funeral ceremony of Davide Astori in Florence in March 2018.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
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An Italian doctor has been sentenced for manslaughter over the death of international footballer Davide Astori.

The 31-year-old Fiorentina captain was found dead in a hotel room in Udine in March 2018, before his team was due to play a league match.

According to the autopsy report, Astori died from tachyarrhythmia, an abnormal acceleration of the heartbeat, during his sleep.

Giorgio Galanti, then-head of the sports medicine department at Florence's Careggi Hospital, was the last person to clear Astori to play in the summer of 2017, seven months before his death.

On Monday, Galanti was given a one-year suspended sentence for failing to diagnose the player's undetected heart defect.

Prosecutors have said that the doctor should have carried out additional examinations to try and detect heart disease, in view of the results of Astori's stress tests, and had called for an 18-month prison sentence.

Galanti was also ordered to pay €1 million euros to Astroi's family, Italian media reported. His lawyer immediately said that he would appeal the verdict.

The doctor had "acted correctly", lawyer Sigfrido Fenyes told reporters in February.

A second doctor was also initially targeted in the investigation, but the case against him was dropped.

Davide Astroi's death caused great emotion in Italy, where he was a member of the national team and won 14 caps.

The central defender also represented Cagliari, Roma, Pizzighettone and Cremonese in his career.