Rebellin's future to be decided in December

Davide Rebellin's future will be clearer after the results of counter-analysis conducted on his positive blood test from last year's Olympic Games are announced in December.

The Italian veteran tested positive to the banned blood booster EPO-CERA during the Beijing Games after the International Olympic Committee conducted a targeted re-testing campaign of samples, focusing on endurance sports, including cycling.

A total of 948 samples were re-tested, with a reported 5,000 tests being conducted during the Olympics.

Four other athletes who returned positive samples include Bahrain's 1500m gold medal winner Rashid Ramzi, German cyclist - and former teammate of Rebellin - Stefan Schumacher, Greek 20km walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka and Croatian 800m runner Vanja Perisic.

Rebellin was provisionally suspended from all competition by his Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli team, having delivered the squad its biggest result of the year when he won La Flèche Wallonne in April.

Soon after this victory he was informed of the result of the anti-doping measures, taken after he had won silver in the men's road race in Beijing in August last year.

Should the counter-analysis confirm the presence of CERA, Rebellin could face a two-year ban, ending a career which he looked set to draw the curtains on at the end of this season anyway.

The Italian is no stranger to doping-related controversy, however; in 2004, following a stellar season in which he took out all three Ardennes Classics - Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège - Rebellin and his wife Selina were amongst the accused in an investigation focusing on Italian doctor Enrico Lazzaro and video footage taken during the 2001 Giro d'Italia.

Whilst Rebellin was not found guilty on this occasion, this indiscretion, if confirmed, will end his career and threatens to cast doubt over his achievements during the past decade.

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