The International Fencing Federation appears to be concerned about doping in the sport. The agency handed out a 66 month ban to a gold medalist who tested positive for furosemide (a diuretic). A diuretic can be used as a masking agent -- or fir short term weight loss. In fencing though...steroids??? From BMA News TV:
Italian fencer Andrea Baldini has been handed a retroactive six-month ban by the international federation and stripped of his team foil gold medal from the European Championships. He could return to the sport, however, when the World Cup resumes next month.
Baldini was removed from Italy's team days before the Beijing Olympics after testing positive for the banned diuretic furosemide at the European Championships in Ukraine in July.
Baldini said he had taken an antibiotic prescribed by the Italian federation's doctor and declared it before the doping test. He also suggested he may have been a victim of foul play, although the Italian Olympic Committee dropped its inquiry into an alleged conspiracy plot in October.
Meeting in Belfast, the international fencing federation ruled that Baldini be banned retroactively from Sept. 3 — the date he was provisionally suspended — to March 3. The ban is subject to approval by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
"The cases of using prohibited substances in our sport are extremely rare," FIE secretary general Maxim Paramonov said in a statement released Tuesday. "Moreover, it is absolutely unclear what could urge the fencer, who had already ensured his participation in the Olympics, to use doping drugs during the competitions of no relevance for him.
"(This) decision allows the athlete to return to the elite sport within a short period and try to demonstrate his exceptional talent in the future tournaments."
The ruling also means Baldini will have to forfeit his gold medal from the team foil at the European Championships.