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Cannot rule out the possibility of “manipulation” though
It is unlikely that Fränk Schleck used Xipamide for doping purposes or to cover up the use of some other product or doping method, according to the expert opinion submitted to the Luxembourg National Anti-Doping Agency. However, the report did not exclude the possibility.
The five page report was prepared by Dr. Hans Geyer, deputy director of the WADA-approved laboratory in Cologne. Tageblatt.lu obtained and released the report. The ALAD has indicated it will release its final decision on the Schleck case on January 30 .
Schleck tested positive during the Tour de France for the diuretic Xipamide, which can be used to conceal other doping products. He has denied doping.
Geyer concluded that “it cannot be excluded that an effective dose of Xipamide has been administrered for manipulation purposes between the 6th of July and the 14th of July.
“Several aspects of plausibility should be taken into consideration: 1. the application of a diuretic during a stage race leads to a decrease of performance by dehydration. 2. during the Tour de France many doping controls can be expected, where diuretics can be detected and 3. the use of a diuretic for weight loss reason makes no sense during a stage race.
“Therefore the scenario of an application of a low, non-effective dose of Xipamide is more likely that the manipulation scenario with an effective does of Xipamide.”
Schleck's urine test showed a concentration of about 100 pg/ml which is “an extremely low concentration,” Geyer noted. He said that he is not aware of any studies done on the possible effects of such a low dosage.
It was also not possible to exclude the possibility of the use of another prohibited product or method, he said. “The prohibited substance might have been already eliminated when the diuretic is administrered or 2. the diuretic is detectable for a longer time period as the other doping substance or the effects of a prohibited method (eg atypical blood values).”
Geyer also noted that it was possible that a contaminated food supplement had contained the banned product.
The drug is classified in the World Anti-Doping Agency code as a "specified substance". Under the code, if an athlete can prove unintended ingestion of specified substances, the required two-year ban can be reduced to anything between a warning and a one-year ban.