It seems like a strange, leaky system (or cistern?), this post-Olympic drug-doping-dripfeed. We get told there are a number of athletes suspected, but we can’t say who because we have to be absolutely certain. And so we speculate about who may be involved. And then we get told that a cyclist is involved, and that it’s the talented Italian one-day rider, Rebellin. I guess that was both not a surprise, as he seems able to pull rabbits out of hats at times, and a shock, as why would he want to sully his brilliant career?
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has opened an investigation into Davide Rebellin as a result of a positive doping control at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It has immediately prohibited the Italian, 37, from competing and called him to Rome for a hearing on May 4 at 12:00.
Rebellin will defend the accusations. The Italian Olympic Committee saw it as a virtue to name names early, rather than keep everything in the dark:
“We are the only Olympic committee that has released a communiqué. We are the only ones who communicated all of this with transparency. Today the Corriere della Sera newspaper wrote that ‘CONI lost a silver medal, but won the transparency battle,’” a spokesman for the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) told Cyclingnews.
And then, having been prompted by the Italians, more names emerge:
Stefan Schumacher is the second cyclist confirmed to have tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) derivative CERA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The German cycling federation (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, BDR) confirmed the news of its cyclist Wednesday afternoon.
No suprise that Schumacher is caught again, of course. Allegedly, pending hearings and all that jazz. And it doesn’t end with cycling, either:
Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi, the 1500-meter champion and his country’s first gold medalist in track, was among three track athletes—and a half-dozen Olympians in all—snagged in the latest game of cat-and-mouse between cheaters and those who try to nail them.
Allegedly, of course.
If all of that has some stamp of authority, there’s also this story about the T-Mobile team from 2006, based on absence rather than proof, and assumption rather than evidence:
How many of the T-Mobile Team went to Freiburg University Clinic for a blood transfusion during the Tour de France 2006? The German news magazine Spiegel reports that an independent commission investigating the case believes that three riders went to the clinic, but also uncovered further evidence that seven riders within the team may have had some sort of blood “manipulation”. The magazine states that the commission “assumes” that Andreas Klöden, Matthias Kessler and Patrik Sinkewitz travelled to the clinic for blood transfusions on the night of the first stage of the 2006 Tour de France. There is no mention of whether the remaining four non-German riders on the team participated in the trip.
It all sounds very flimsy, indeed. And all denied, of course.