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Cancellara takes silver after doping scandal

Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara has been awarded a silver medal for a race during the Olympic Games in Beijing after an Italian cyclist was caught doping.

The Swiss had placed third during a road cycling race around the Chinese capital in August 2008. The gold medalist, Spaniard Samuel Sanchez, has not been affected. Russian Alexandr Kolobnev will now take the bronze.

On Tuesday Italian officials said that the International Olympic Committee had confirmed that the second-place finisher, Italian Davide Rebellin, would be disqualified and stripped of his silver medal because he had traces of a the endurance-enhancing drug EPO Cera in his system.

Rebellin's test results were first revealed at the end of April, just a few days after the 38-year-old veteran won the Flèche Wallonne.

Olympic officials had retroactively retested athletes' blood samples to look for signs of Cera, a new generation of EPO that had no reliable test for detecting it until shortly before the Games.

Rebellin and five other athletes had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during the summer Olympics.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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