THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) REJECTS THE APPEAL OF DAVIDE REBELLIN
Lausanne, 30 July 2010 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin against the decision of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of 17 November 2009 disqualifying the athlete from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and withdrawing his silver medal.
On 5 August 2008, during the Beijing Olympic Games, Davide Rebellin underwent an antidoping control. On 9 August 2008, he took part in the road cycling race where he finished second. Later, the analysis of the “A” blood sample of the athlete, aiming to detect the presence of human growth hormone, was negative. In January 2009, the IOC decided to submit the
samples collected during the 2008 Olympic Games to additional tests in order to detect the possible presence of EPO CERA. A first exam (screening) has shown the presence of CERA in the “A” sample of the athlete. A complete analysis of such sample was then performed by the anti-doping laboratory of Châtenay-Malabry (France) which could establish officially the presence of CERA in the blood sample of Davide Rebellin. In May 2009, the analysis of the “B” sample confirmed the analysis of the “A” sample. On 17 November 2009, upon proposal of the IOC Disciplinary Commission, the IOC Executive Board disqualified Davide Rebellin from the Men’s road cycling race of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and withdrew his silver medal.
The IOC also requested the UCI to amend the official results of such event. On 30 November 2009, Davide Rebellin filed an appeal with the CAS to request the annulment of the IOC decision.
This case has been referred to a CAS Panel composed of Mr Bernard Foucher (France), President, Mr Michele Bernasconi (Switzerland) and Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany). A hearing took place at the CAS Headquarters on 17 June 2010 during which the parties, their counsels and several experts have been heard. For his defense, Davide Rebellin has alleged several mistakes concerning the analysis procedure of the samples and has challenged the validity of the method applied by the laboratory of Châtenay-Malabry. The CAS Panel has rejected all the arguments put forward by the athlete and
has confirmed that the procedures of the chain of custody have been complied with and that there was no departure from the international standards for laboratories (ISL) which could have reasonably caused an abnormal analysis result. Furthermore, the CAS Panel has confirmed that the presence of CERA has been validly detected in the blood samples of the athlete and that the laboratory of Châtenay-Malabry has applied a method of detection which already existed and
was already validated internally, pursuant to the ISL, at the moment of the analysis.
The decision rendered by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee on 17November 2009 has therefore been confirmed in full.