French court upholds Schumacher suspension

Says doping-control analysis was done properly

A French court has rejected Stefan Schumacher's appeal of his two-year suspension for doping. The former Gerolsteiner rider had said that the test process used was not yet approved when the tests were done in 2008.

The highest administrative court in France, the Conseil d'Etat, ruled Wednesday afternoon that the analysis process of the blood samples was correctly done by the French anti-doping agency, AFLD.

News agency AFP reports the court found that, "the methods for analysing blood samples were regular" and "accepts that the AFLD could carry out retrospective analysis on a sample previously tested."

Schumacher, 28, tested positive for EPO-CERA twice during the Tour de France 2008, according to retrospective testing announced in October of that year. The AFLD announced his two-year suspension from riding in France in February, with the International Cycling Union following shortly thereafter with a world-wide ban. Schumacher is appealing the bans before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

He also tested positive for CERA during the Olympic games, with the samples also being tested by the French laboratory.

Earlier this month Schumacher renewed his appeal and called for the positive results to be withdrawn, after the AFLD announced that re-testing revealed no additional EPO-CERA cases from the 2008 Tour.

The retrospective testing procedure used by the AFLD in the latest round of analysis differed to that used to determine his positive test result in 2008, he claimed. The tests on his samples was “at a very early stage of development” and therefore not reliable, Schumacher said.

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