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Belgium's Leif Hoste (Katusha) had a serious crash and was forced to withdraw.
UCI suspend Houanard for two years after EPO positive
The UCI has announced that Belgium's Leif Hoste is under investigation for violating the UCI Biological Passport programme. The UCI has requested the Belgian National Cycling Federation (RLVB) handle the investigation and give Hoste any eventual sanction.
Hoste announced his retirement on December 1, citing back problems. However the UCI will now look closely at his Biological Passport blood values for evidence of doping. The 35-year-old Hoste rode for Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s in 2012, after spells at Katusha, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Discovery Channel, Lotto-Domo and Mapei-Quick Step during a 16-year career.
Hoste is a three-time Belgian national time trial champion and a strong Classics contender. He finished second in the Tour of Flanders on three occasions, losing out to Steffen Wesemann in 2004, Tom Boonen in 2006 and Alessandro Ballan in 2007.
The UCI refused to give any further details on the case until a verdict is reached.
The UCI said in a press release that Houanard had accepted a two-year ban in a written document on January 18. Houanard was provisionally suspended by the AG2R-La Mondiale team on October 9 and stopped from riding the Tour of Beijing.