Tour de France: Alexandr Kolobnev positive for banned diuretic
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Tour de France: Alexandr Kolobnev positive for banned diuretic

by Shane Stokes at 2:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Russian rider set to be removed from race

Alexandr KolobnevTeam Katusha captain Alexandr Kolobnev has provided a positive A sample for the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, and the UCI has requested that his squad withdraw him from the Tour de France.

French newspaper L’Equipe, which has close ties with Tour organisers ASO, has reported the news, saying that the rider failed a test during the first week of the race. The substance concerned can work as a masking agent and is banned at all times.

The analysis was done in the Parisian laboratory of Chatenay-Malabry.

Kolobnev is a double silver medallist in the world road race championship, finishing as runner-up in 2007 and 2009. He is also the Olympic bronze medallist, being elevated from fourth when runner-up Davide Rebellin tested positive for CERA.

The 30 year old placed second in the GP Miguel Indurain this season, as well as fifth in the Amstel Gold Race. He is currently 69th overall in the Tour de France, 22 minutes and 15 seconds behind race leader Thomas Voeckler (Europcar). His best stage placing was 34th on stage five.

Kolobnev is the first rider to test positive at this year's Tour. Under team rules, he is liable to pay a fine equal to five times his annual salary if his guilt is confirmed.

Hydrochlorothiazide is listed on WADA’s prohibited list under category S5, pertaining to diuretics and other masking agents. It is prohibited at all times, both during competition and in training. However as it is a specified substance, it does not lead to an automatic suspension until such time as the B sample is analysed and the result confirmed, or the rider waives its analysis.

The UCI has confirmed the news, and released a statement making it clear that it wants the Katusha team to seriously consider removing him from the race.

“Earlier today, the UCI advised the Russian rider Alexandr Kolobnev of an Adverse Analytical Finding (presence of Hydrochlorothiazide based on the report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry) in the urine sample collected from him at an in competition test at the Tour de France on 6 July 2011. Mr. Kolobnev has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample,” it stated.

“The UCI Anti-Doping Rules do not provide for a provisional suspension given the nature of the substance, which is a specified substance.

“However 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.”

It added that it was unable to provide further information under its rules and those of WADA.

Stay tuned for more on this story as it develops…



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