Tour stage winner Astarloza suspended after failed doping test

Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the podium after his stage win.

Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the podium after his stage win. (Image credit: AFP)

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced Friday that it suspended Spaniard Mikel Astarloza for failing a doping control June 26, which was 25 days before he won the Tour de France's mountain stage to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

His Euskaltel-Euskadi team said that it had not seen any abnormalities in the team's internal controls. It said Astarloza will request the counter-analysis of the sample. Until then, the press release stated, he will be considered innocent until proven guilty.

The Cycling Union announced that Astarloza tested positive for blood booster EPO in an out-of-competition control. He is the second rider from Spain's Euskaltel-Euskadi team to return a positive doping control in June. Iñigo Landaluze was suspended in July after twice testing positive for EPO CERA.

The team condemned Landaluze and he took full responsibility for his positive tests.

Astarloza's urine test was performed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and analysed in Madrid. The Cycling Union received the results on Thursday.

The suspension is provisional until a Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) panel meets to examine the results. "The hearing panel will make a decision on an applicable sanction for Mr. Astarloza," said the Cycling Union in a press release.

The failed doping test is the first related to a rider who participated in the 2009 Tour de France. There were eight riders who tested positive for doping in last year's race.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1