By Susan Westemeyer
The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) suspended German rider Stefan Schumacher for two years after testing positive for CERA, a new generation of EPO, during the Tour de France. Schumacher confirmed the suspension Thursday evening, calling the decision "a shock" and the process a "farce".
The 27-year-old, who last rode for Team Gerolsteiner, said in a statement that, "I did not dope."
He added that there can only be one reaction to this "unprecedented investigation and unbelievable verdict: I have told my attorney to file an appeal of the investigatory practices and the scandalous verdict with the Conseil d'Etat, the highest French court of appeals."
Schumacher said that he was sure that the court would "prove his innocence".
Earlier in the day, the Belgian and Dutch media had reported that the UCI had ordered the suspension, but Schumacher's lawyer, Michael Lehner, called the story a "fake".
On Thursday afternoon, UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews, "I can confirm UCI didn't communicate at all on this so far. We are still waiting in fact for the AFLD decision."