RadioShack-Nissan withdraws Fränk Schleck from the Tour de France after doping positive
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RadioShack-Nissan withdraws Fränk Schleck from the Tour de France after doping positive

by Ben Atkins at 4:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
Team “not able to explain” Luxembourg rider’s non-negative sample

frank schleckThe RadioShack-Nissan team has responded to Fränk Schleck’s non-negative test for banned diuretic Xipamide by withdrawing the Luxembourg rider from the race. While the substance is banned, it is a “specified substance” under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations, which means that in theory there could be a reason for its presence in an athlete's system such as supplement contamination.

The cause will be determined in time; diuretics have also been used in the past to mask other substances.

Under these regulations Schleck does not receive an automatic provisional suspension - which he would if he returned a non-negative test for a drug like EPO - but the team has, unsurprisingly, taken the decision to pull him. The UCI had made it clear in its original statement that it expected this course of action.

“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,” the team’s statement reads.

“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.”

While one possible cause of Schleck ingesting Xipamide would be through a contaminated supplement, the team states that it is present in no products it uses and offers no explanation at this time. It also pledges to cooperate fully with any investigation.

Schleck’s non-negative sample was taken in a random in-competition control after the 13th stage of the Tour, between Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux and Le Cap d’Agde, on July 14th, in which he finished in 40th place. The news comes on a bad day for the Schlecks, as earlier this afternoon the Luxembourg Cycling Federation (FSCL) officially withdrew injured younger brother Andy from the Olympic Games.

There has yet to be any comment from the rider himself at this point.

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The RadioShack-Nissan team’s statement in full:

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.

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