Image: Andrea Baldini
VINCENZO PINTO  /  AFP/Getty Images
Andrea Baldini, one of the favourites to win gold at the Beijing Olympics, has failed a drugs test, the ANSA news agency reported on Aug. 1.
updated 8/4/2008 12:42:16 PM ET 2008-08-04T16:42:16

A backup sample taken from fencer Andrea Baldini came back positive for a banned substance, confirming the doping case that cost the Italian medal-hopeful his spot on the Olympic team.

The "B" sample taken during last month's European Championships in Ukraine confirmed the result of the first test, which was positive for the banned diuretic furosemide, the Italian fencing federation said Monday.

The 22-year-old Baldini, who won silver in the foil at the 2006 and '07 world fencing championships, has denied taking the substance. The diuretic is not considered a doping substance, but a masking agent that can be used to hide other drugs.

The federation requested Friday that the backup sample be analyzed, but also removed Baldini from the Olympic team and replaced him with Andrea Cassara, a double medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The tests were conducted at a lab in Prague, Czech Republic. The federation said in a statement it had agreed to a request by Baldini to conduct a DNA test on the urine to ensure the sample belonged to him.

Baldini, seen as a gold-medal candidate at the Beijing Games, has said he had taken only an antibiotic, prescribed by the federation's doctor and declared before the anti-doping test.

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