RadioShack-Nissan rider Frank Schleck has tested positive for a banned diruetic in a urine sample taken from the Luxembourger during the Tour de France on Saturday, July 14. RadioShack confirmed the positive, and have removed him from the race.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced on Tuesday that Schleck returned an ‘adverse analytical finding’ for xipamide, detected by the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory in France.
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The 32-year-old was given four days during which to request that his B sample be tested, a right which he has taken up.
A UCI statement said: “Earlier today, the UCI advised the Luxembourger rider Frank Schleck of an adverse analytical finding (presence of the diuretic Xipamide…) in the urine sample collected from him at an in competition test at the Tour de France on 14 July 2012.”
“The UCI Anti-Doping Rules do not provide for a provisional suspension given the nature of the substance, which is a specified substance.
“However, the UCI is confident that his team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity and to ensure that their rider has the opportunity to properly prepare his defence in particular within the legal timeline, which allows four days for him to have his B sample analysed.”
RadioShack-Nissan released a statement on Tuesday evening confirming Schleck’s departure from the 2012 Tour: After being informed by the UCI about the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Frank Schleck on July 14, the team has decided to immediately withdraw Frank Schleck from the Tour de France.”
“Even though an abnormal A sample does not require these measures, Mr Schleck and the team believe this is the right thing to do, to ensure the Tour de France can go on in calm and that Frank Schleck can prepare his defense in accordance with the legal timing to do so.”
The statement also noted that xipamide is “not a product that is present in any of the medicine that the team uses and the reason for the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Mr Schleck is unclear to the team.”
Schleck was 12th in the overall classification of the Tour after stage 15, nine minutes and 45 seconds behind leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky). RadioShack-Nissan are leading the team classification.
Schleck was third overall in the 2011 Tour de France, one place behind brother Andy. He has previously won the Tour de Suisse, Criterium International and Tour of Luxembourg.
Schleck was suspended by the CSC team in 2008 after it was discovered that he had made a payment to Dr Eufemiamo Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto doping investigation. He was later cleared of any wrong-doing by the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency.
Schleck went into the Tour de France having competed in the Giro d’Italia in May. On Sunday, he admitted that this year’s Tour route didn’t really suit him due to the amount of time trials.
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