- Tour de France
Frank Schleck tests positive at Tour de France
Frank Schleck has tested positive for a banned diuretic at the Tour de France, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on Tuesday.
A UCI statement confirmed: "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 July 14 2012."
Schleck, who rides for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, was not suspended from the Tour de France and holds the right to request the analysis of his B sample. However, the UCI strongly advised his team to pull him from the remainder of the race, and it has been confirmed Schleck will now miss the rest of the Tour.
"The UCI is confident that his team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity," the UCI statement had said. "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."
A statement from the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team read: "Our team attaches great value to transparency. Because of this, we can announce the following as a response to the adverse analytical finding of Xipamide in Frank Schleck's urine sample of July 14 during the Tour de France.
"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 defence in accordance with the legal timing to do so.
"On the subject of Xipamide the team can declare the following: it 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. Therefore, the team is not able to explain the adverse findings at this point.
"However, the team is fully determined to collaborate with the anti-doping agencies in order to resolve the matter."
Xipamide is used for the treatment of oedema, fluid retention and hypertension. However, Schleck's brother Andy insists his sibling will clear his name, saying: "On my life and my family, I am sure he hasn't taken anything."