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Rumsas ‘B-sample’ positive

Raimondas Rumsas looks set for a two year ban from cycling after it was revealed Monday his "B-sample" had confirmed the presence of the banned drug EPO during the Giro d'Italia. The 31-year-old had demanded it be tested earlier this month so he could prove his innocence but Rima Berloviene, senior doping control specialist at the Lithuanian Sports department, announced it had confirmed he had taken EPO. Valentinas Rutkauskas, secretary general of the Lithuanian Cycling Federation, told the Baltic News Service that Rumsas could face a two year ban from the sport and a fine, adding that

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By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2003

Raimondas Rumsas looks set for a two year ban from cycling after it was revealed Monday his “B-sample” had confirmed the presence of the banned drug EPO during the Giro d’Italia.

The 31-year-old had demanded it be tested earlier this month so he could prove his innocence but Rima Berloviene, senior doping control specialist at the Lithuanian Sports department, announced it had confirmed he had taken EPO.

Valentinas Rutkauskas, secretary general of the Lithuanian Cycling

Federation, told the Baltic News Service that Rumsas could face a two year ban from the sport and a fine, adding that a decision was likely on Tuesday.

Rumsas tested positive following the sixth stage of the Giro on May 16, the eve of the first stage which finished in the mountains and in which he finished sixth overall.

For his part Rumsas had claimed that should the test be positive it was a conspiracy cooked up by Lampre team officials, saying that they wanted to get rid of him.

“If the results of the second test were positive I would be very surprised, but then suspicions would fall on doctors. I did not use any drugs on my own,” he told the Lithuanian daily Respublika on June 13, the day after news of the positive test broke.

It is not the first time Rumsas has been mired in a drugs scandal.

His wife was jailed in France after being caught with large quantities of growth hormones and other drugs in her car on the eve of the end of last year’s Tour de France, in which he finished third.

The rider tested negative for drugs during the actual race while his wife Edita claimed the drugs came from her mother’s house in Lithuania.

She was held in jail in France for two and a half months, which provoked outrage in her country and led to the Lithuanian foreign minister warning France that the incident could hurt bilateral relations.

Lithuania defended him stoutly as well and named the best Lithuanian sportsman in 2002.

Rumsas has been a professional since 1996 but had to wait till 2000 to ride in a major tour.