Davide Rebellin promises to fight to clear his name of charges that he doped to win the silver medal at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games.
UCI officials revealed earlier this week it intends to disqualify the 37-year-old Rebellin after he tested positive for CERA and revoke his Olympic medal and prize money.
In his first public comments on the case, Rebellin said he is initiating an appeal process to fend off allegations.
“Even though no one believes me that I am innocent and everyone just assumes I am guilty, I am going to return to competition and demonstrate who Davide Rebellin is,” the Italian said.
Rebellin’s lawyers are challenging the findings of doping tests that found traces of the banned, third-generation EPO. The case will be challenged in the Court for Arbitration in Sport.
The UCI, however, is demanding that Rebellin be disqualified. In that case, bronze medalist Fabian Cancellara will move up to second and fourth-place man, Alexandr Kolobnev, will slot into third.