• Cycling

Schleck out of Tour de France after ban

ESPN staff
January 30, 2013
Frank Schleck will not compete in the next Tour de France © PA Photos

Frank Schleck will miss the 2013 Tour de France after receiving a one-year ban for failing a drugs test in last year's event.

Schleck, third overall in the 2011 Tour, tested positive for the banned diuretic Xipamide following the 13th stage of the 2012 Tour. On Wednesday he was banned for a year by the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency, although the suspension was backdated to start on the day of his failed test.

Schleck will therefore be able to return to competitive action on July 13 - just over two weeks after the 2013 Tour gets underway in Yorkshire.

"Of course I am disappointed by the verdict that has just been announced," Schleck said in a statement. "I think that the decision to suspend me during one year is too severe considering the fact that the council acknowledged that I unintentionally consumed a contaminated product.

"Unfortunately the provisions of the UCI are such that an involuntary contamination is sufficient in order to pronounce a punishment."

Schleck faced a potential ban of two years, but the punishment was not maximised due to the fact it was the 32-year-old's first offence.

However, Schleck could yet appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"We will now analyse the decision in detail and decide on potential further steps," he added. "However I bear a positive aspect of the decision in mind - the judges acknowledged that I am not a cheater."

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