Schumacher going ahead with AFLD suit

Stefan Schumacher is going forward with the promised lawsuit against the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), calling for that organisation to "immediately close" its investigation of him. He called the agency's charges that he used illegal doping products "arbitrary" and "defamatory".

The AFLD announced in October that Schumacher had twice tested positive for the EPO product CERA in tests of blood samples drawn during the Tour de France, charges which the rider continues to deny.

Schumacher's attorney Michael Lehner issued a statement protesting the investigation. According to the sid news agency, he called the test procedures "inadmissible and uncertain", and filed an appeal against all the results.

Lehner further charged that there were procedural errors in the analyses of the samples and questioned the chain of custody. "These were conducted without the control of the athlete, with multiple possibilities for blood contamination, for substitution or other circumstances which could negatively affect the results."

There is no reason for his client not to receive a license for the upcoming year, Lehner added. He said Schumacher is preparing for the coming season and just finished a training camp on Cyprus. "We have applied for the 2009 pro license from the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer [German Cycling Federation] which must be directly and without difficulty granted."

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