Racing cyclist Bastianelli denies dope charges

July 30th, 2008 - 2:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, July 30 (Xinhua) World road race champion Marta Bastianelli of Italy has denied knowingly using a banned substance and has requested the doping authorities to revoke her ban. Bastianelli, banned after testing positive for flenfluramine, Tuesday admitted to being “careless” in not being aware of a slimming product that contained the banned molecule.

Bastianelli, 21, said she would not wait for the second B sample to be analysed but instead go straight to the doping authorities to plead her case.

Unless the ban is revoked, Bastianelli will miss the Beijing Olympics.

“I got a product from the pharmacy because I wanted to lose some weight,” she told Sky TG24 television. Flenfluramine is used in some diet products.

“Unfortunately now we have discovered the truth. In one of the products there was a little molecule,” Bastianelli said.

“I hope I can come out of this clean. I even ask the doctor when I have to take aspirin. I had a tooth out without anaesthetic. I watch everything I eat and drink.”

The Italian cycling federation Monday said that Bastianelli tested positive July 5 at the European under-23 championship in Verbania, northern Italy.

Italian cycling team chief Franco Ballerini backed Bastianelli, saying “carelessness cannot be confused with doping”.

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