UCI announces adverse analytical finding for Fränk Schleck at Tour de France

Earlier today, the UCI advised Luxembourger Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) of an Adverse Analytical Finding in a urine sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Tour de France on July 14, 2012.

The WADA accredited laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry detected the presence of the diuretic Xipamide in Schleck's urine sample.

According to UCI anti-doping rules the finding does not require a provisional suspension, but in a statement the UCI said, "the UCI is confident that his team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity and to ensure that their rider has the opportunity to properly prepare his defense in particular within the legal timeline, which allows four days for him to have his B sample analyzed."

Xipamide, the substance found in Schleck's urine, is not specifically mentioned on WADA's prohibited substance list.

Cyclingnews has called Fränk Schleck for comment but have not yet received a response. However, his RadioShack-Nissan team has announced that the Luxembourger has withdrawn from the Tour de France. Following is the complete statement from the RadioShack-Nissan concerning Schleck:

"Our team attaches great value to transparency. Because of this, we can announce the following as a response to the adverse analytical finding of xipamide in Fränk Schleck's urine sample of July 14 during the Tour de France.

"After being informed by the UCI about the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Fränk Schleck on July 14, the team has decided to immediately withdraw Fränk Schleck from the Tour de France.

"Even though an abnormal A sample does not require these measures, Mr. Schleck and the team believe this is the right thing to do, to ensure the Tour de France can go on in calm and that Fränk Schleck can prepare his defense in accordance with the legal timing to do so.

"On the subject of xipamide the team can declare the following: it is not a product that is present in any of the medicine that the team uses and the reason for the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Mr. Schleck is unclear to the team. Therefore, the team is not able to explain the adverse findings at this point.

"However, the team is fully determined to collaborate with the anti-doping agencies in order to resolve the matter."

The case echoes the 2011 Tour when Alexandr Kolobnev tested positive for a banned diuretic (hydrochlorothiazide) following stage 5. He later suspended himself from his Katusha tea but was later cleared by CAS and hired back by Katusha.

This isn't the first time that Schleck has had to answer to anti-doping authorities as in 2008 it was revealed he made a payment to Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, the centre of Operación Puerto, but the charge was dismissed by the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency.

More to follow as the story develops and join the forum discussion here.

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