Rebellin returns Olympic silver medal, repays winnings

Italian cyclists fulfils obligations, maintains innocence

Italian Davide Rebellin returned yesterday the silver medal he won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He also made available to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) the €75,000 it awarded him for his placing.

Tests results released April 28 this year revealed Rebellin doped with blood booster EPO-CERA at the Olympics.

Rebellin said that returning the medal was not "recognition of responsibility," but that he was fulfilling his obligations requested by the CONI, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week ordered lRebellin to return the silver medal. It asked the CONI to retrieve the medal from Rebellin.

The CONI's anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri is still investigating the case and has yet to recommend a suspension. Rebellin faces a likely two-year suspension.

The CONI also announced last week that it asked its lawyer Massimo Ranieri to open a case against Rebellin. It seeks compensation for damages caused by Rebellin's doping case.

Rebellin, 38, insists he is innocent. He plans to "challenge the decision made by the IOC because if its various flaws in fact and law," according to his lawyer Fausto Pavone. They have 21 days to present their case to the CAS.

Pavone will highlight the weaknesses in the chain of custody of samples of blood and urine from the moment they were give in Beijing. The IOC released the positive result in April, but the positive counter-analysis was only released last week.

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