The Monaco Cycling Federation has confirmed Davide Rebellin’s suspension for doping. Rebellin has been banned from competition for two years after testing positive for the banned blood booster CERA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The 39-year-old Italian has always denied doping and has fought the ban all the way. However, he lost an appeal to the Court for Arbitration for Sport in July and the Monaco Cycling Federation has now formalised his ban. Because Rebellin’s positive for CERA was only announced in April 2009 and he stopped racing immediately, his ban will end on April 27, 2011.
Rebellin hails from San Bonifacio near Verona, Italy but was suspended by the Monaco Cycling Federation because he was a resident in the tax haven and raced with a Monaco licence. He will be almost 40 when his suspension ends but has always said he will try to make a comeback.
During his career Rebellin won many of the hilly one-day classics on the calendar. In 2004 he completed an unprecedented and unrepeated hat trick of victories in the Ardennes classics, winning Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the same week.
Rebellin will go down in history as the first Italian Olympic medal winner to ever fail a drug test.
The International Olympic Committee has already announced it will give Rebellin’s silver medal to Fabian Cancellara, who finished third in Beijing behind Spain’s Samuel Sanchez and Rebellin. Fourth-place finisher Alexander Kolobnev of Russia will move up to the bronze medal position.