ISSF vice-president Luciano Rossi has been suspended for three years ©YouTube

International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) vice-president Luciano Rossi has been banned for three years by the governing body's Ethics Committee, insidethegames can reveal.

In a communication sent by Rossi to Member Federations within the organisation, seen by insidethegames, the controversial Italian writes that he has been suspended for 36 months and given an undisclosed fine.

He also vowed to appeal the sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, claiming he was "confident justice would be enforced in that forum".

The decision effectively rules Rossi out of standing to replace Olegario Vázquez Raña as ISSF President when the Mexican official leaves a post he has held for 38 years in November.

Vázquez Raña has already publicly named Russian steel tycoon Vladimir Lisin as his preferred successor.

Rossi was referred to the ISSF's Ethics Committee last year amid a number of accusations regarding his conduct as vice-president.

He was accused of launching a politically-motivated campaign to oppose the Tokyo 2020 programme by Vázquez Raña and later by Lisin, who said he was furthering his ambition of running for the top job.

The Mexican claimed the Italian orchestrated a plan to hold an Extraordinary General Assembly, held to discuss the alterations to the sport's programme at Tokyo 2020, so he could lobby the membership as part of his campaign to run for President.

It was also alleged that Rossi opposed the changes as he had a conflict of interest.

A company which Rossi allegedly has a 90 per cent stake in owns nearly 20 per cent of Eurotarget, which makes clay targets used in double trap shooting.

This discipline was dropped from the Olympic programme along with the men's 50 metre pistol and 50m rifle prone events to make way for mixed competitions.

The Italian informed the membership of the decision by the Ethics Committee in an email ©ITG
The Italian informed the membership of the decision by the Ethics Committee in an email ©ITG

The Italian was also accused of lying by the ISSF after he circulated a letter which claimed secretary general Franz Schreiber and fellow vice-president Gary Anderson had held secret talks with the International Olympic Committee about the possible introduction of laser guns into the sport.

The ISSF denied this and said Rossi had been spreading "false information", marking a rare example of a sports governing body publicly criticising one of their own high-ranking officials.

Rossi dismissed suggestions he was conflicted in any way when questioned by insidethegames and denied allegations he was using the Tokyo 2020 programme alterations to help mount a bid for the Presidency.

It came amid a bitter feud present throughout the ISSF last year.

It is not yet clear exactly which of the allegations Rossi was found guilty of by the Ethics Committee, comprised of lawyers independent from the ISSF.

insidethegames has contacted the ISSF for comment.