Olympic cyclist Rebellin’s two-year ban confirmed

Geelong: Olympic silver medallist Davide Rebellin has had a two-year ban for doping confirmed by the Monaco Cycling Federation (FMC) on Saturday.

Rebellin finished second in the men’s road race in Beijing behind Spaniard Samuel Sanchez, but in April 2009 it was revealed a sample from the Games had tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin) Cera.

Rebellin, who is registered with the Monaco Cycling Federation, has already been stripped of his silver medal by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and while provisionally suspended was expected to be banned for two years.

In the event of doping irregularities, the International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations require national sports federations to launch disciplinary proceedings against their registered riders.

The UCI said Saturday “the FMC has sanctioned Mr Davide Rebellin with a two-year suspension starting on April 28, 2009.”

The decision is likely to spell the end of 38-year-old Rebellin’s career. He was a one-day classics specialist and scored a number of top victories such as Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Fleche-Wallonne and Amstel Gold Race,

Earlier this year Rebellin appealed the loss of his medal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), claiming that testing procedures had not been respected.

However in July the arbitration body rejected that appeal, claiming the presence of EPO Cera had been validly detected in Rebellin’s blood samples and that the laboratory followed the correct method and system of analysis.

With Rebellin’s disqualification, Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara moved up to the silver medal position and Alexander Kolobnev of Russia took the bronze.

On Saturday the UCI also confirmed that sanctions had been handed down by two other federations.

The Spanish federation banned Eladio Jimenez Sanchez for two years and handed him a fine of 8,400 euros (11,600 dollars) for doping while the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) hit Massimo Giunti with a two-year suspension and a 1750 euro fine.

Bureau Report

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