The Union Cycliste Internationale has announced that Davide Rebellin will be stripped of his silver medal from the 2009 Beijing Olympic road race after testing positive for EPO.
Rebellin failed a drug test for CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator), a new form of the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO), at the Games, but news of the positive test result only surfaced in April this year after the International Olympic Committee sanctioned retro-testing of samples taken during the Games.
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The Italian was second behind Spaniard Samuel Sanchez in the men’s road race. Third-placed Fabian Cancellara will now be officially recognised as silver medallist, to add to the gold he won in the time trial.
Rebellin’s positive test cast a shadow over a long and formerly distinguished career in the professional cycling ranks. His palmarès includes wins in Flèche Wallonne, Paris-Nice, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tirreno-Adriatico, Amstel Gold Race and a stage win at the Giro d’Italia.
Stefan Schumacher also disqualifed for CERA positive
The International Olympic Committee has confirmed that Germany’s Stefan Schumacher has also been disqualified from the Beijing time trial after testing positive for CERA.
Schumacher finished 13th in the time trial and then had a surprisingly poor road race. Two months later it was announced he had tested positive for CERA in the 2008 Tour de France.
The former Gerolsteiner-rider won both time trials in the 2008 Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for two days early in the race.
Schumacher was banned for two years for his Tour de France positive but has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, claiming that the CERA test is not valid and has questioned the way his samples were handled.He used the same defence in the IOC Beijing case. However after a 15-month process, the three-member IOC panel dealing with the case unanimously ruled to disqualify the German.
Schumacher is one of four athletes disqualified from the Beijing Games for doping.
On Tuesday Italy’s Davide Rebellin was ordered to give back the silver medal he won in the men’s road race. On Wednesday the IOC has also confirmed that Rashid Ramzi from Bahrain, the gold medallist in the athletics 1500m event, walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka from Greece, and 800 metre runner Vanja Perisic from Croatia have also been disqualified after failing dope tests.
Somewhat surprisingly, weightlifter Yudelquis Maridalin Contreras from the Dominican Republic, was cleared of any wrong doing. Her A sample was positive for Cera but he B sample was declared clean.