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Florence prosecutor charges two doctors in Astori’s death

Had medical personnel followed up on irregularities in his tests, the late Viola captain might still be with us.

Italy Training Session & Press Conference Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

373 days after Davide Astori died in his sleep in a hotel room in Udine, Florence prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo has brought charges against two doctors, Francesco Stagno and Giorgio Galanti, alleging negligence and, in the case of the former, negligent homicide. The accusations stem from the pair ignoring warning signs, dating back to 2014, that Astori suffered from a heart defect.

Stagno, the head physician at the Institute of Sporting Medicine of Cagliari, faces charges of ignoring irregularities in the defender’s routine check-up in July 2014 that should have served as warning signs that there was an abnormality that manifested itself during the team’s pre-season physicals. Instead of following up, he rubber-stamped the player’s medical report as sterling and sent him along.

Galanti, an attending physician at Carreggi University Hospital in Florence, similarly ignored warning signs in July 2016 and July 2017 that allowed a heart arrhythmia to go undiagnosed despite indicators during stress tests.

Creazzo’s investigation found that, despite noting that Astori’s heart patterns were out of the ordinary, neither Stagno nor Galanti said or did anything to note the condition. The investigation noted as well that, with proper medication or possibly a permanent end to his footballing career, Astori could well still be alive.

It’s yet another punch in the gut from the entire affair, which seemed, more than a year on, to be pretty well settled, albeit still painfully fresh in the minds of fans and teammates alike. As much as it hurts to revisit this whole thing for us and play the what-if game, it’s infinitely harder for Astori’s family. Keep them in your thoughts.