World of Sport can't believe it's about to write these words: 2013 has just witnessed a drugs in sport story more amazing than Lance Armstrong's admission that he doped throughout his career.
That's because an Italian runner is facing a disciplinary panel accused of using a fake penis to beat a doping test.
27-year-old long runner Devis Licciardi is alleged to have used the plastic penis to provide a clean sample immediately after having run a road race in Molfetta, Puglia.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Licciardi was tested at the end of the 10,000m road race when he was apparently seen trying to siphon urine into the sample pot from a penis which was evidently not his own.
He reportedly told the doctor "I'd like to be alone", but in accordance with standard drug testing procedures his request was denied.
Licciardi, a member of Italy's Air Force athletics team, was immediately reported to anti-doping authorities, and faces a two-year ban if found guilty at the tribunal in Rome.
The Telegraph reports that the use of fake penises by dopers is actually fairly widespread:
"Fake penises are readily available on the internet and even come in different colours to match users’ skin colour, including white, black and Latino," writes reporter Nick Squires, presumably to ensure that he has a good answer ready if his IT department come knocking.
"One website offers 'life-like' prosthetic penises complete with packets of dehydrated, uncontaminated urine, which can be turned liquid with chemical heat packs.
"A satisfied customer wrote on one website: 'I passed my drug test with ease and the person giving the test watched me pee. It is worth every penny.'"
- Sports & Recreation