x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Schleck wants B sample check after leaving Tour de France over drug test

Frank Schleck, brother of the 2010 champion, spent the night in a Pau police station after testing positive for a banned diuretic.

Frank Schleck in action during the Tour De France
Frank Schleck in action during the Tour De France

PAU, FRANCE // Frank Schleck has requested the analysis of his B sample while insisting he does not know why he tested positive for a banned substance which resulted in his withdrawal from the Tour de France.

The 32-year-old, who finished third in the 2011 Tour, tested positive for banned diuretic Xipamide on July 14, cycling's world governing body, the International Cycling Union, announced last night.

"I categorically deny taking any banned substance," Schleck said in a statement.

"I have no explanation for the test result and therefore insist that the B sample be tested which is my right.

"If this analysis confirms the initial result, I will argue that I have been the victim of poisoning."

The Luxembourg rider is the elder brother of Andy Schleck, who won the 2010 Tour after original champion Alberto Contador was stripped of his title for a doping offence.

Schleck, who was 12th overall, sitting nine minutes and 45 seconds behind leader Bradley Wiggins, will not start tomorrow's 16th stage - though his team will remain in the Tour.

He spent last night being questioned at a French police station voluntariy after learning of the test results, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek spokesman Philippe Maertens confirmed.

Maertens said: "He tested positive for Xipamide. It's not a performance-enhancing product, but it's forbidden.

"The team doesn't know where that product comes from.

"RadioShack will stay in the Tour. He's not suspended. Even the UCI cannot say to him 'you have to go'."

Asked Schleck's reaction to the news, Maertens said: "It was like he got a hammer on his head.

"He doesn't know anything about where the product comes from.

"It's a shock for everybody. We're having a good Tour de France.

"We're leading the team classification, it's a big goal for us.

"Without Frank Schleck it's going to be harder. All our riders are working for one goal.

"When something happens like this you can imagine they are not happy."

The positive test came after Saturday's Bastille Day stage to Cap d'Agde.

A UCI statement read: "Earlier today, the UCI advised the Luxembourger rider Frank Schleck of an adverse analytical finding (presence of the diuretic Xipamide based on the report from the VADA accredited laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry) in the urine sample collected from him at an in competition test at the Tour de France on July 14, 2012.

"Mr Schleck has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.

"The UCI antidoping rules do not provide for a provisional suspension given the nature of the substance, which is a specified substance."

The incident is not the first to trouble RadioShack-Nissan-Trek this season.

Team manager Johan Bruyneel opted not to attend the Tour due to his link with the United States Anti-doping Agency investigation into the United States Postal Service team, with seven-time winner Lance Armstrong a fellow defendant. Both Armstrong and Bruyneel refute all allegations of wrongdoing.

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