SELLA TO GET ONE YEAR BAN

Italian Emanuele Sella is facing a one year ban for failing a anti-doping test for blood-boosting EPO variant CERA.

The CSF Gruppo Navigare rider took three surprise stage wins at this year’s Giro d’Italia, but subsequently failed an out-of-competition test carried out by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for the new performance enhancing drug on July 23.

Although the World Anti-Doping Agency are recommending a two-year ban, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) are likely to suspend Sella from competition for a year due to his willingness to co-operate with the Italian anti-doping authorities.

CONI’s anti-doping committee are scheduled to hear Sella’s case on Monday, December 1.

Sella is one of several top riders to have been caught using Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator (CERA) in 2008. Bernard Kohl, Riccardo Ricco, Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher have also all tested positive for the substance as a result of tests carried out on samples taken during the Tour de France.

OLYMPIC CERA TESTS: ‘SEVEN POSITIVES’

International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge has said that there may be seven further positive dope tests from samples taken at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The IOC is still in the process of retrospectively testing samples from the Beijing Games for third generation EPO variant CERA (see above), among other substances. The decision to re-test Olympic samples was made after several Tour de France riders tested positive for the substance in July.

Rogge stated at the weekend that the testing process will take a further six weeks before any positive results are announced.

Samples from the 2008 Tour of Portugal are also going to be subject to re-testing for CERA, the Swiss Anti-Doping Laboratory (LAD) announced last week.

LANCE THE MOVIE: WHERE IS IT?

Now that Lance Armstrong is back from retirement, we can’t help but wonder what happened to Lance: The Movie.

At the end of 2006 there was a flurry of rumours relating to the Lance biopic. Hollywood actors Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal were linked to the role of the great man himself, and the project was being helmed by Bourne film series producer Frank Marshall.

Now it appears that the movie is stuck in production. The Internet Movie Database has the film chalked for a 2009 release date – to coincide with Armstrong’s eighth Tour de France win. Maybe. Or perhaps Lance has come back from retirement just to get some new footage.

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