Davide Rebellin loses Olympic doping appeal

Ban length yet to be set

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday rejected Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin's appeal against a doping charge that saw him lose his Olympic silver medal from Beijing.

Rebellin came second behind Spain's Samuel Sanchez in the 2008 245km road race but, after initially testing negative, his blood sample was retested in January 2009 and came back positive for banned blood booster EPO CERA.

In November 2009, upon a proposal from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission, the IOC Executive Board disqualified Rebellin and withdrew his medal.

The Italian then launched his appeal, which was heard on June 17 this year.

"For his defence, Davide Rebellin has alleged several mistakes concerning the analysis procedure of the samples and has challenged the validity of the method applied by the laboratory of Chatenay-Malabry," said Friday's statement from CAS.

"The CAS panel has rejected all the arguments put forward by the athlete and has confirmed that the procedures of the chain of custody have been complied with and that there was no departure from the international standards for laboratories (ISL) which could have reasonably caused an abnormal analysis result."

CAS confirmed that the presence of 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, Italy's Fabian Cancellara moved up to the silver medal position and Alexander Kolobnev of Russia took the bronze.

© AFP 2010

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