Lazio captain Stefano Mauri will try to clear his name through the appeal courts after being handed a six-month ban for alleged involvement in match-fixing.
The punishment has been handed down by the disciplinary commission of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) after the organisation's prosecutor had initially recommended a 54-month sanction for the player's alleged failure to report his knowledge of match-fixing.
The accusations related to Lazio's league games against Genoa and Lecce in May 2011, but five men including Mauri were today cleared of wrongdoing in relation to the Genoa fixture.
Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi also requested a six-point deduction for the Rome club, but that was dismissed in favour of a 40,000 euro fine. Lecce were fined 20,000 euros while Genoa were cleared.
The new Serie A season starts on the weekend of August 24 and Mauri is now determined to successfully appeal his ban and return to action for Lazio "as soon as possible".
He told his official website, www.smauri.it: "I'm happy that Lazio don't have to start with a points deduction, but this punishment for failing to report seems like an injustice to me.
"I will put my trust in the next steps of the justice system to put this ugly experience behind me.
"Even in this situation I will fight like a captain... my plan is to be back on the pitch with my team-mates as soon as possible.
"Thanks to all the fans who, every day, have shown me their affection and encourage me in an incredible way."
Mauri, now 33, played as Lazio beat Genoa 4-2 in Rome on May 14, 2011 and eight days later the midfielder featured in a victory by the same scoreline at Lecce.
The three clubs were subject to disciplinary action for their objective liability in the alleged actions of eight players: Mauri, Massimiliano Benassi, Mario Cassano, Stefano Ferrario, Carlo Gervasoni, Omar Milanetto, Antonio Rosati and Alessandro Zamperini.
Zamperini, who was already serving a five-year ban, was today banned for a further two years but cleared in connection to the Genoa game together with Benassi, Milanetto and Rosati, but Ferrario was banned for six months and Cassano four months.
Mauri's lawyer Amilcare Buceti told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "We have witnessed a decision which still leaves us feeling bitter because the penalty was imposed due to circumstantial evidence. It is not supported by any objective source of evidence.
"It remains an incomprehensible error of judgement from the disciplinary commission since there is no evidence in the slightest of Stefano Mauri's connection to the allegations."
The news follows last month's issuing of a 43-month ban to Torino goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet for his alleged involvement in match-fixing at former club Bari. The Belgian subsequently failed to have his FIGC sentence reduced on appeal.
Bari submitted a plea bargain to receive a fine and a one-point penalty for the forthcoming Serie B season.
Serie A clubs Sampdoria, Atalanta, Torino and Siena all started the 2012-13 season with points deductions for their alleged involvement in match-fixing while Juventus coach Antonio Conte served a four-month ban for allegedly failing to report knowledge of fixing during his time at Siena.