AFLD confirms two-year suspension for Schumacher

French anti-doping agency AFLD officially confirmed on Thursday that it has given a two-year suspension to former Gerolsteiner rider Stefan Schumacher for doping during the 2008 Tour de France. The agency declared Schumacher positive for the EPO variant CERA after performing targeted blood analyses on samples taken during the Tour.

AFLD announced that the German's ban will last until February 11, 2011.

Schumacher made the suspension public earlier this month after learning of the AFLD's decision.

According to dpa, Schumacher plans to fight the suspension with his lawyer, Michael Lehner. Schumacher said the investigation by AFLD was "a farce", and that he did not dope.

Schumacher's case is unusual in that the French anti-doping agency, not the UCI, was in charge of doping controls at the Tour de France last year due to the ongoing war between the UCI and the Tour organiser ASO.

In similar cases the international cycling federation (UCI) has followed the ruling from AFLD. UCI president Pat McQuaid said in January that "I don't think we will see Schumacher as a professional cyclist anytime soon," according to dpa.

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