Italian cyclist Rebellin questioned after being stripped of Beijing Olympic medal for doping

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cyclist Rebellin questioned over Olympic doping

ROME — Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin was questioned Friday by the anti-doping prosecutor of Italy’s Olympic Committee after being stripped of his medal from the Beijing Games.

After the hearing at Rome’s Olympic stadium, Rebellin’s lawyer Federico Cecconi said the proceedings against the rider would be suspended until a ruling is made by sport’s highest court, which is also examining the case.

Last year, the International Olympic Committee stripped Rebellin of his road race silver medal because he was one of five athletes who tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO, in new tests using retroactive blood samples taken at the 2008 Games.

Rebellin, who denies doping, has appealed the IOC’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Cecconi said a ruling by the court is expected by early March.

The Italian Olympic Committee confirmed it had agreed to suspend proceedings until the court’s decision.

“It’s hard having the ‘doping’ tag slapped on you, my future depends on this decision,” Rebellin said after the hearing. “My conscience is clear.”

Rebellin has been suspended and could be banned following disciplinary proceedings by the Italians.

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