No case for Schleck to answer

Fränk Schleck during Saxo Bank's boot camp

Fränk Schleck during Saxo Bank's boot camp (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) has dismissed any case against Fränk Schleck for his contact with Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, centre of the Operación Puerto doping investigation. The Team CSC Saxo Bank star was being investigated by that organisation for a possible doping violation under Article 4 of the nation's anti-doping code.

Section 4.2 of that code pertains to the "use or (of) the attempted use of a substance or a prohibited method," which it was implied Schleck may have tried to do by transferring funds to the Spanish doctor via a Swiss bank account. This emerged as a result of ALAD hearings on October 1, whereby the central question was whether Schleck was seeking to secure the services of Fuentes to aid in doping. Schleck admitted to wiring the money during questioning by the ALAD.

The ALAD held a meeting on 7 October 2008, during which it decided to conduct a further investigation and approach bodies and persons likely to provide new information or clarification on the matter; these included the Luxembourg State Prosecutor, judicial authorities and the Spanish government, in addition to the International Cycling Union (UCI).

December 9 was set as a deadline for submissions and the day the ALAD would decide whether Schleck had a case to answer. The organisation recorded that apart from the known transfer, no other evidence had emerged in the investigation, and information was received from the UCI noting the absence of evidence pointing to so-called contact between Fränk Schleck and Dr Fuentes.

It concluded that no use of a prohibited substance or method has been determined, or even alleged. The ALAD also clarified the fact that the transfer can not be seen as an attempt [to dope] punishable under Article 4.2 of its anti-doping code.

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