Italian cyclist loses Olympic silver for doping

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Cyclist Davide Rebellin of Italy will be stripped of the silver medal in the road race from the 2008 Beijing Olympics because of doping. The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said it received instructions from the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday. Rebellin was one of five athletes who tested positive in April for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO, in new tests using retroactive blood samples taken at the games. All denied doping. Rebellin will become the first Italian athlete stripped of an Olympic medal for doping. He will have to return his $110,000 prize from CONI. Samuel Sanchez of Spain won the road race in Beijing, Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland finished third and Alexander Kolobnev of Russia was fourth. The medals could be redistributed. The other athletes from Beijing who tested positive were 1,500-meter champion Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain; German cyclist Stefan Schumacher; Croatian 800-meter runner Vanja Perisic; and Greek race walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka. Rebellin was immediately suspended by CONI when the IOC announced the positive test in April. He was also suspended by his team at the time, Diquigiovanni-Androni, even though Rebellin rode for Gerolsteiner at the Olympics. CONI will open disciplinary proceedings against Rebellin. A specialist at long single-day races, Rebellin won the Amstel Gold Race, Walloon Arrow and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2004.

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