Davide Rebellin is determined to prove his innocence and refute charges that he used CERA at the Beijing Olympics. “There is nothing to confess. I never used CERA,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“There will always be someone who will think that I doped. I respect that everyone has to say what he thinks. But I'm going to hold my head high.”
Rebellin and former Gerolsteiner teammate Stefan Schumacher both tested positive for the EPO variant CERA in samples taken at the Beijing Olympics last summer. The Italian has already returned the silver medal he won in the road race, and both riders have had their results disqualified. Both continue to protest their innocence.
The 38-year-old Rebellin said that he and attorney have discovered “too many mysteries in the affair,” with “regulations not complied with, principles violated.”
One of those mysteries is that there are seven samples attributed to him, although he only underwent three controls: one by the World Anti-Doping Agency on August 5; blood and urine controls by the UCI for all riders on August 7, the day before the race; and on August 8th, blood and urine controls after the race.
Both Rebellin and Schumacher have appealed their disqualification to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, and the Italian listed some of the points of his case. There are many missing documents related to the samples, the analysis method for CERA had not been validated by the WADA at the time, and the French lab which conducted the analysis was not at the time accredited to do so.
Rebellin has continued to train and is determined to come back to the sport. “The day after I heard the news I went out on my bike. And I have never stopped since then.”
He concluded, “I always say to myself: Why did this thing happen to me? There are many questions. And I'll prove, if I can, that I am innocent.”