WADA doesn’t appeal Fränk Schleck’s one year sanction, rider can return to competition in mid-July
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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

WADA doesn’t appeal Fränk Schleck’s one year sanction, rider can return to competition in mid-July

by Shane Stokes at 6:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Luxembourg rider will miss Tour due to Xipamide positive but could target Vuelta

Frank SchleckFränk Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) will be able to return to racing on July 14th of this year, with the sanction he was handed by the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) being unopposed by the UCI and the World Anti Doping Agency.

With the UCI earlier deciding not to appeal, the final barrier to Schleck’s return was down to WADA. However it too has decided not to fight the original judgement, informing the ALAD that it would accept the ruling.

Schleck tested positive for the banned diuretic Xipamide during last year’s Tour de France. The substance was detected following an in-competition test on July 14, following the 13th stage of the Tour de France. The result of that test was announced on July 17th and he withdraw from the race.

Schleck denied knowingly consuming anything containing Xipamide which, in being classified as a “specified substance’ by WADA, can incur suspensions less than the standard two year ban.

In its ruling announced on January 30th, ALAD concluded that Schleck had not ingested the substance intentionally. It also said that hair analyses carried out didn’t show any evidence of doping, and that his biological passport was not suspicious.

As a result he was given a reduced one year ban, making him eligible to return to competition on July 14th.

Initially Schleck said that he wasn’t happy with the outcome. “Of course I am disappointed by the verdict that has just been announced,” he stated. “I think that the decision to suspend me during one year is too severe considering the fact that the Council [ALAD] acknowledged that I unintentionally consumed a contaminated product. Unfortunately the provisions of the UCI are such that an involuntary contamination is sufficient in order to pronounce a punishment.”

He said that he would consider an appeal, but ultimately did not go down that route. The UCI and now WADA have also accepted ALAD’s sentence, meaning that the Luxembourg ride can return to competition in mid July.

He will miss this year’s Tour de France, but could target the Vuelta a España instead. That race begins in Galicia on August 24th.

His brother Andy has struggled to come back to form following his crash in last year’s Critérium du Dauphiné. He has said that he will ride this year’s Tour. The Vuelta could also be an option for him, either instead of the Tour or after it.

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