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Page last updated at 08:25 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 09:25 UK

Cyclist Rebellin tests positive

Davide Rebellin
Rebellin marked his 37th birthday by winning silver in Beijing

Olympic cycling road race silver medallist Davide Rebellin from Italy is among the athletes who failed a drugs test in retesting of Beijing samples.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday that the retesting had led to a total of seven positive tests involving six athletes.

The tests came back positive for Cera, an advanced version of endurance-enhancing hormone EPO.

The Italian Olympic Committee has said that Rebellin is one of those involved.

A specialist at long single-day races, Rebellin celebrated his 37th birthday by finishing second behind Spain's Samuel Sanchez in Beijing last August.

Rebellion has denied any wrong-doing, telling Italian newspaper La Stampa: "I don't know what may have happened. It is certainly a mistake. It is impossible that I tested positive."

British Olympic chiefs believe no members of Team GB are among the six athletes caught out by the IOC.

The British Olympic Association has not been contacted by the IOC, which says the athletes in question have been notified through their national Olympic committees.

US Olympic Committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said the federation had not received notification from the IOC of any adverse findings involving a US athlete.

"Unless we hear otherwise, we are treating no news as good news," Seibel told the Associated Press.

The vast majority of athletes do not seek an unfair advantage. We intend to do all we can to ensure that they have a fair environment for competition

Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC medical commission

The IOC tested 948 samples from Beijing after new tests for Cera and insulin became available after the Olympics.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Gordon Farquhar said the offenders "are likely to be competitors from the endurance disciplines of swimming, cycling, rowing and athletics".

Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC medical commission, said: "The further analysis of the Beijing samples that we conducted should send a clear message that cheats can never assume that they have avoided detection.

"The vast majority of athletes do not seek an unfair advantage. We intend to do all we can to ensure that they have a fair environment for competition."

Pending any disciplinary action by the IOC, national and international bodies are free to impose provisional suspensions of athletes, the IOC said.

Any athletes found guilty of doping face being disqualified from the Olympics and stripped of any medals.

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see also
Rebellin claims Fleche Wallonne
22 Apr 09 |  Cycling
IOC to re-examine Beijing samples
09 Oct 08 |  Olympics
IOC steps up war on dopers
08 Oct 08 |  Olympics
Ricco handed two-year doping ban
02 Oct 08 |  Cycling
Lewis cautious over Bolt success
13 Sep 08 |  Athletics
Beijing bids farewell to Olympics
24 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
Olympics set for new doping rule
06 Jun 08 |  Beijing 2008
Sanchez clinches road race gold
09 Aug 08 |  Cycling
IOC promises tougher drugs policy
10 Apr 08 |  Beijing 2008
Drug fears on Beijing horizon
20 Feb 08 |  Beijing 2008
How to beat the drugs cheats
15 Nov 07 |  Sport Homepage

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