Rebellin talks about positive tests, restates his innocence
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rebellin talks about positive tests, restates his innocence

by Conal Andrews at 8:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Davide Rebellin has already returned the silver medal and the €75,000 prize he received in Beijing, but he continues to protest his innocence as he awaits his CAS appeal.

The Italian is due to be heard by the Court of Arbitration in Sport early next year, and plans to fight the charges on several grounds. Like fellow Beijing positive Stefan Schumacher, he protests his innocence.

“There's nothing to confess. I never took CERA,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I want to prove that I never asked from my doctor what he cannot give. There will always be someone who will think that I doped. I respect that everybody has to say what he thinks. But I'm going to hold my head high.

"Even now I don’t believe I have been found positive, it is unthinkable for me. Sure, I know I could be condemned, I am ready, but I'm not beaten. And I will continue until 41, 42 years old to show that I've never taken anything. I have not doped and I have not taken CERA.”

Rebellin finished a close second to Samuel Sanchez (Spain) in the Olympic road race on August 9th, 2009. He afterwards said that his silver medal was a ‘victory for clean cycling,’ but it was revealed in April of this year that he was one of six athletes who were positive for CERA, an advanced form of EPO.

Former Gerolsteiner team-mate Schumacher also tested positive for the same substance, backing up similar findings from the 2008 Tour de France.

Rebellin detailed the various tests he did. “I did the pre-Olympic test in February and then a blood test just before leaving. On these there was no dispute.”

There were three tests in Beijing. “On August 5, there was an examination of WADA on the blood. On August 8, the day before the race, there was a blood-urine test by the UCI, as there was for all the riders. And then the 9th, there was a doping control after the race, of blood and urine.”

He claims only that of August 5th was positive. Rebellin said that he originally presumed it was the post-race test. “The minutes of the IOC delivered during the investigation [states] the samples attributed to me were taken ‘on an unknown date’. Only in its ruling of 17 November appears the date of 5 August. And there is another anomaly: it says seven samples are given. But how can that be if I did three checks? The number must be even. There’s never an answer.

“The test on the 5th was in the hotel in Beijing. We did the test after 21.00 [9 pm], after dinner. I and the Italian riders. The examinations were endless, we noticed it right away…until midnight. There was only Chinese staff, no interpreter, and transcribing the data into English took them a long time. It seemed as if they did not know what to do, that they had never done those procedures [before].”

He highlighted other concerns, claiming that documents related to the samples were missing, some of the samples were open, the CERA test was not validated at the time by WADA, and also the laboratory in Paris that analysed samples for CERA was not accredited to do so until June 30th this year.

These claims will be assessed by CAS in the hearing, which should be competed by April at the latest. In the meantime, he plans to keep training. That has been his way of coping thus far.

"The day after the news, I went out on my bike. And since then I never stopped,” Rebellin said. “The best way to get it out [of his system]. I did 33 thousand kilometres this year and my last race was in April, at Liège. I have simulated races in training [since then].”

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