Rebellin stripped of Olympic silver medal

Italian second in Beijing road race, found guilty of using EPO

Veteran Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin, who tested positive for the new generation of EPO (CERA) at the 2008 Olympic Games, is to be stripped of his road race silver medal, the sport's governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on Tuesday.

The UCI confirmed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are to disqualify the 37-year-old, who was second behind Spaniard Samuel Sanchez in Beijing.

"The finishing order is automatically changed," said the UCI, based on its own rule 12.1.022.

Rebellin's disqualification means that the silver will go to Switzerland's Olympic time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara and the bronze to Russian Alexandre Kolobnev.

"The UCI are now going to demand that the rider's national federation open an enquiry into the episode," announced the UCI.

Rebellin's failed test came to light at the end of April this year just after he had won the Fleche Wallonne.

He appeared before the IOC's disciplinary commission in July alongside four other athletes, including Bahrain's Moroccan-born 1,500 metres champion Rashid Ramzi.

© 2009 AFP

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