CONI: Mother of Italian volleyball player dies

Aug. 09, 2008, 1 p.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Taismary Aguero's mother has died in Cuba after the Italian indoor volleyball player was reportedly granted a visa to enter the country.

Aguero, who was born in Cuba but was granted Italian citizenship last year, originally left Beijing for Cuba on Thursday. When it appeared she was denied a visa, she flew from Germany to Beijing early Saturday to return to the Olympics.

However, Aguero then found out that she would be granted a visa and left for Cuba again, according to reports. The details of her travels were unclear, team officials said Saturday.

Later, the Italian Olympic committee (CONI) announced in a statement that Aguero's mother, Dolce Fedora, 61, had passed away.

CONI president Giovanni Petrucci, delegation chief Raffaele Pagnozzi and Italian volleyball federation president Carlo Magri sent a condolence message to Aguero.

CONI would not provide details as to Aguero's current whereabouts, and said it won't comment further on the issue until the athlete rejoins her team in Beijing to respect her privacy and the delicate situation of her family.

Aguero played for the Cuban national team in the 1990s before leaving for Italy in 2001. She is a veteran of the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Italy is ranked second in the world behind Brazil. The Italians defeated Russia 25-20, 17-25, 25-16, 25-23 on Saturday in the opening Olympic match for both teams.