Cervélo pulls Florencio out of Tour de France over team violation
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Friday, July 02, 2010

Cervélo pulls Florencio out of Tour de France over team violation

by Conal Andrews at 4:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
Spaniard used banned substance in saddle sore cream

Xavier FlorencioWith just hours remaining to the start of the Tour de France, the Cervélo Test Team has voluntarily withdrawn fellow Spaniard Xavier Florencio from the squad after he took a product containing a banned substance.

The Swiss team, which includes the 2008 race victor Carlos Sastre and last year’s Maillot Vert winner Thor Hushovd in its ranks, could end up starting the race with only eight men after the last-minute withdrawal.

“Rider Xavier Florencio will not start for Cervélo TestTeam at the Tour de France this year,” said the team in a brief statement this evening. “Although he was nominated for the team, the team has decided to immediately withdraw him due to a violation of internal policies.”

It pointed out that all team riders are required to consult its medical staff before using any supplements or medication, and to get the all-clear from them. Florencio failed to do this, and is now paying the price.

“This evening, the team learned that Xavier Florencio has been using a substance containing ephedrine to treat a saddle discomfort,” the statement continued. “This substance was not cleared in advance with the medical staff. This usage without clearance violates the internal policy.”

It said that he will be suspended from competition until the team makes what it termed a ‘final determination,’ based on all of the facts.

The communiqué concluded by saying that the team was not yet sure if it would be allowed field another rider in his place.

The news is a blow for the squad, which has enjoyed a clean image since it was founded prior to the start of last season. If the situation is as has been reported, it would appear that Florencio did not seek to deliberately gain an unfair advantage, but his carelessness could have resulted in many negative headlines had he failed a test in the race.

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