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CAS rejects Rebellin’s CERA appeal

The International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday rejected Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin’s appeal against a doping charge that saw him lose his silver medal from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Rebellin had initially been awarded the medal after finishing second behind Spain’s Samuel Sanchez in the 245km road race. Blood and urine analysis conducted immediately after the event showed Rebellin to have tested negative for banned substances. However, in January of 2009, the International Olympic Committee ordered the re-examination of several athletes’ samples in order to test for a new generation of the blood boosting drug EPO, known as a Continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA). Rebellin was one of several athletes who tested positive in that second round of analysis.

In November 2009, pursuant to a recommendation from the IOC Disciplinary Commission, the IOC Executive Board disqualified Rebellin and withdrew his medal.

Rebellin, however, filed an appeal with CAS, which was heard on June 17.

“For his defense, Davide Rebellin has alleged several mistakes concerning the analysis procedure of the samples and has challenged the validity of the method applied by the (French national anti-doping) laboratory of Châtenay-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, Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara moved up to the silver medal position and Alexander Kolobnev of Russia took the bronze.

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