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Thursday 21, Feb 2013

  Disgraced Former US Cyclist Paid $40,000 A Year For Doping

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Disgraced Former US Cyclist Paid $40,000 A Year For Doping

Tyler Hamilton told a Spanish court on Tuesday that he paid tens of thousands of euros (dollars) a year to Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and bought the blood booster EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin off Fuentes.

The disgraced cyclist told the court that he used blood doping some 15 times and was associated with the doctor at the heart of the Operation Puerto scandal for blood doping and other drug supply services to boost his performance in competitions.

Fuentes, his sister and fellow doctor, Yolanda, Manolo Saiz, a former ONCE and Liberty Seguros team sports director, and Vicente Belda and Ignacio Labarta, both associated with the former Kelme team, are on trial in a Madrid court for endangering public health.

The former teammate of banned cyclist Lance Armstrong, Hamilton said he paid between 25,000 and 30,000 for the services in 2002 and 2003. Hamilton also said he agreed to pay 50,000 ($US67,000) for 2004, but was not able to complete the treatment as he tested positive for receiving someone else’s blood in September 2004. The cyclist was stripped of his gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics last year after confessing to doping.

Meanwhile, the judge announced that Alberto Contador, the two-time winner of Tour de France and one of 50 cyclists implicated in the Puerto investigation, would not be required to appear in court. The attorney for defendant Saiz, Ignacio Arroyo, said at the end of hearing on Tuesday that he renounced the witness statement he had requested from Contador. The judge then ruled that the rider’s presence would no longer be necessary because Arroyo had been the only trial participant to request testimony from Contador.

A former professional rider for the US Postal and CSC team, Tyler Hamilton, among others, said he first met the Spanish doctor at a rest area “on the highway between Barcelona and Valencia” in Spain “to fix up blood transfusions” and “to plan for the future.”

Hamilton told the court the worst reaction he had was in 2004 when he had a reinfusion during the Tour de France and as far as he could tell the blood hadn’t been stored properly and said he knew something was not working out as it should when he went to the bathroom 35-40 minutes later and found his urine was black. On 11 September, 2004, Hamilton while riding in Spain’s Vuelta, tested positive for “mixed blood cell population,” or receiving someone else’s blood. The cyclist, under cross-examination, also remarked that he had heard that another rider in his team, Santiago Perez, had also tested positive for the same reason. Tyler Hamilton said he knew Perez and other riders also used the blood doping services of Fuentes as they had flown together from Lyon in France to Madrid, during the Dauphine Libere race, to get infused. Hamilton, when asked who had put him in contact with Fuentes, said that one-time Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner “Bjarne Riis, general manager of team CSC, put me in touch with him.”

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Monday 28, Jan 2013

  Cycling’s Reputation To Be Tarnished More

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Cycling’s Reputation To Be Tarnished More

The long-delayed Operation Puerto case finally goes to court in Spain. This could possibly mean more damaging revelations for cycling as well as the world governing body of the sport, the UCI.

The central figures of one of the game’s most sophisticated and widespread doping networks will stand trial in the Criminal Court of Madrid seven years after Spanish investigators uncovered the doping scandal.

The case is expected to be last until March 22 that will be presided by Judge Julia Santamaria, 35 witnesses are called to testify to try five defendants, including doctors Eufemiano and Yolanda Fuentes, brother-and-sister suspects at the heart of a complex blood-doping ring. Manolo Saiz, former ONCE and Liberty Seguros team sports director, as well as Vicente Belda and Ignacio Labarta, both associated with the former Kelme team are among others on trial. Another medical doctor, Jose Luis Merino, was also to be tried, but Santamaria granted him a temporary stay on after he presented medical reports stating he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The list of witnesses includes two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador and Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, and Jan Ullrich were some of the cyclists who were implicated in the doping ring.

The judge can only pass a ruling on matters that are covered by Spanish law as it applied in May 2006 when a mass of evidence in labs, offices and apartments in Madrid, Zaragoza and El Escorial was uncovered during police raids. This means that the scope of the trial may only emphasize on charges relating to actions that could “endanger public health” but it is still believed the trial will open up some new revelations about athletes who cheated to get an unfair advantage. Defense lawyers, on the other hand, will argue that the defendants didn’t endanger the health of the cyclists as they relied on the best available technology.

Eduardo Esteban, spokesman for the state prosecutor’s office, said the anti-doping agency of Spain or a sports federation may open an investigation to find out if they could ban an athlete if one of the defendants reveal that he injected the athlete. Miguel Angel Adan, a spokesman for Spain’s anti-doping agency, said the agency is studying the possibility.

The proceedings will be followed closely by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which will be a party to the trial along with the International Cycling Union, the Italian Olympic Committee, the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams, and former cyclist Jesus Manzano. WADA director general David Howman however said it is disappointing to learn that the Operation Puerto case trial is limited to cycling, as athletes from other sports were also implicated but said they are still getting a hearing and have expressed their frustration. The failure to explore the work of Fuentes outside cycling in the Madrid court has infuriated WADA and led to accusations of a possible cover-up for limiting the impact on Spain’s sporting reputation. It is believed that the tainted doctor admitted to assisting footballers and tennis stars with doping.

This doping scandal after the recent Lance Armstrong doping confession will surely hurt the reputation of cycling as a clean sport.

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Thursday 10, Jan 2013

  Armstrong Will Confess To Doping, Says Schleck

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Armstrong Will Confess To Doping, Says Schleck

Tour de France winner Andy Schleck admits he is eagerly awaiting Lance Armstrong’s U.S. television interview on January 17 and will be fascinated to know how the disgraced cyclist will deal with his fall into disgrace.

Armstrong may win back some of his old fans through a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey on her cable TV network, Schleck says. However, he says that he is not sure if the Texan rider will admit to making the use of performance enhancing drugs during his career. Schleck said while arriving in Adelaide to prepare for the Tour Down Under that he does not believe that Lance Armstrong will go out there to say that he is innocent and didn’t do anything. He added that media and pressure on him will not make it easy for him to tell the truth after so many years. Schleck added that he believes that he will do the interview for a good reason and remarked that he was stunned by revelations made by USADA against Armstrong of doping. The Luxembourg star said we knew three or four years ago that the Lance Armstrong era was not the cleanest in cycling so far.

The New York Times last week reported that the disgraced cyclist is considering publicly admitting that he used banned substances in an attempt to make a return to competitive sport in marathons and triathlons. The Tour de France 2010 winner, Schlek said there is also a possibility that the 41-year-old Armstrong still believed he was innocent and had done nothing wrong.

Schleck won the event after Alberto Contador was disqualified for doping and the cyclist will be competing at the season-opening Tour Down Under for the first time. This season will be crucial for the future of cycling, said Schlek but added that expecting the sport to be clean will still not be completely possible. He further added that there are cheaters in every sport but they get caught in cycling, which is a good thing.

Schleck’s Radioshack Leopard Trek team will not include Frank, his elder brother, who is waiting the outcome of a disciplinary hearing after testing positive for a banned diuretic at last year’s Tour de France.

Meanwhile, Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said he couldn’t see Lance admitting to widespread doping and added that a confession would lead to other matters and said he however will be interested as anyone else. Turtur added that it was going to happen sooner or later so we might as well get it done now and be done with it when asked if he was concerned by the timing of the Armstrong interview coming a week before the start of this year’s Adelaide race.

British cyclist David Millar has expressed concern over what he believes will be a “stage-managed” appearance of Armstrong with Oprah Winfrey. The broadcast will be the first interview of the cycling ever since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency said he helped orchestrate the most sophisticated doping program in the history of cycling.

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Wednesday 02, Jan 2013

  WorldTour License For Saxo-Tinkoff Opens Door For Contador’s Tour Return

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WorldTour License For Saxo-Tinkoff Opens Door For Contador’s Tour Return

Next season, Alberto Contador is all but sure to be back at the Tour de France. This was after the final-hour ProTeam license was awarded to Saxo-Tinkoff Bank that assures that the cyclist banned for using Clenbuterol will return to the Tour for the first time since 2011. After being sidelined this season due to his backdated Clenbuterol ban, the Spanish superstar will be the centerpiece in the battle for the Tour de France title.

“Contador will be back in the Tour next year,” said Sky’s 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins. “Alberto changes any races he’s in.” At the Tour presentation in October, 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) said Alberto will be back next year and you know he will be extra motivated to win and added that the Spaniard always races to win and is always a hard competitor.

The aggression of Alberto Contador in the mountains is well known for altering the dynamics of any race when he is at the start line and Contador typically races for the win in just about every race he starts. In the past, the cyclist has passionately insisted his wins have come clean and said that his doping case was triggered after eating contaminated beef; the doping incident led to disqualification of his 2010 Tour de France win, as well as his 2011 Giro d’Italia victory.

Recently, the doping-related case of the Spaniard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport was closed after a private settlement on the proposed fine was reached and the CAS therefore “officially terminated the arbitration.” The cyclist was given a suspension of two years for his positive doping control for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France and made a return to racing in August of this year and subsequently won the Vuelta a Espana.

In a statement issued, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said the CAS has been informed of an amicable settlement between the UCI and Contador regarding this issue and has officially terminated the arbitration. The details of the settlement were not released though it was reported that Contador must pay 37,500 Euros in court costs for the UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency.

However, the cyclist is still under some ‘dark clouds’ after links between Contador and former trainer Pepe Martí surfaced though he was not named in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation into the U.S. Postal Service-Discovery Channel-Astana doping legacy. If that was not all, an expected trial that will involve Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, Manolo Saíz, and other key players in the Operación Puerto blood doping ring dating back to 2006 will bring back bad memories for Contador who was among nine riders not allowed to start the 2006 Tour while racing with Liberty Seguros at the time. But he is likely to make a big impact with the arrival of many quality riders, including Nicholas Roche, Roman Kreuziger, Michael Rogers, U.S. champ Timmy Duggan, and Rory Sutherland and the cyclist is doubly motivated for the Tour with a climber-friendly route on tap for the centennial edition.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: WorldTour License For Saxo-Tinkoff Opens Door For Contador’s Tour Return

Friday 09, Nov 2012

  Italian Cyclist Suspended After Links To Ferrari Exposed

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Italian Cyclist Suspended After Links To Ferrari Exposed

Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi has been temporarily suspended by his Lampre-ISD team after he admitted to working with disgraced doctor Michele Ferrari.

The cyclist, who won the 2011 edition of the Giro d’Italia after Alberto Contador was stripped of his title following a positive test for the banned drug Clenbuterol, admitted last month that he had worked with the doctor following reports in Gazzetta dello Sport linking the duo.

Ferrari played a key role in the systematic doping program employed by Lance Armstrong’s US Postal and Discovery Channel teams between 1999 and 2005 and was handed a lifetime ban from working in professional sports in July 2012. Scarponi has been suspended on a temporary basis by Lampre-ISD even though the cyclist has not admitted to any connection with doping and to working with Ferrari before he joined the team. Meanwhile, the Italian Cycling Federation is also believed to have launched an investigation which may put Scarponi “out of action for some time”.

A spokesman for Lampre-ISD said the team was following its internal medical policy and Michele Scarponi has been suspended by the team doctor Carlo Guardascione. The suspension of the Italian cyclist began on October 25 when he released his statement and the Italian Cycling Federation has been notified of the suspension, the spokesman added.

Scarponi was previously banned for 18 months for his involvement in Operation Puerto in 2007. Operación Puerto was the code name of a Spanish Police operation against the doping network of Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes; the operation resulted in a scandal that involved several of the world’s most famous cyclists at the time. Scarponi admitted he was Zapatero while Jörg Jaksche admitted he was Bella in Fuentes’ files while Ivan Basso who was cleared by Italian authorities due to lack of evidence admitted involvement in the scandal to the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI).

The Italian professional road bicycle racer was able to secure a contract with Acqua & Sapone despite been implicated in the Operación Puerto doping case in 2006. The next year he was implicated again in the Operación Puerto case and confessed his role in the case on May 8, 2007. Thereafter, he was provisionally suspended on May 15, 2007. Diquigiovanni-Androni announced on June 13, 2008 that they had signed Scarponi for the coming two seasons with the cyclist completing the ban and won the Tirreno-Adriatico and also won 2 stages in the Giro d’Italia in 2009.

The Italian cyclist was able to award himself a second place finish in the Tirreno-Adriatic and was able to finish fourth overall in the Giro d’Italia where Scarponi was able to took a prestigious victory in the epic stage 19 and went on to a win in the Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda. After moving in 2011 to Lampre-ISD, Scarponi won the Giro del Trentino and the Volta a Catalunya and finished  second overall behind Alberto Contador in the Giro d’Italia. After Contrador was stripped of the title for using Clenbuterol which he blamed it on contaminated meat, Scarponi was assigned the title. He finished 4th overall while trying to defend his Giro title in 2012 with Canadian Ryder Hesjedal taking the overall win.

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Friday 02, Nov 2012

  Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

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Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee opened an investigation into the role of Lance Armstrong in a doping scandal that has tarnished the image of professional cycling besides wiping out his seven Tour de France titles. The investigation would also mean that the cyclist may lose his Olympic bronze medal he won in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The cyclist finished behind winner and U.S. Postal Service teammate Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and Jan Ullrich of Germany and now his medal will go to Abraham Olano Manzano of Spain, who stands to move up to bronze if Armstrong is stripped of the medal. Vyacheslav Ekimov was upgraded to the gold after the IOC stripped a former Armstrong teammate, Tyler Hamilton, of his gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics after he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

A former Armstrong teammate who won the time-trial bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, Levi Leipheimer, may also have his medal revoked after he confessed to doping. He is presently serving a reduced, six-month suspension after cooperating with the USADA inquiry. Alberto Contador, the Spaniard who was stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title after testing positive for clenbuterol, finished fourth behind Leipheimer in 2008.

The Olympic involvement of other riders and officials implicated in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report will also be examined by the IOC. The USADA report detailed “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” After the release of this report, it was sent to the governing body of cycling (UCI) and World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). The UCI endorsed the sanctions imposed on the cyclist by USADA and said Armstrong had no place in cycling. The United States Anti-doping Agency banned the seven-time winner of Tour de France for life and stripped him of all his titles after August 1, 1998.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that it will start the process regarding the involving of Armstrong, other riders, and their entourages. The medals could come up for review at the executive board meeting of the IOC next month in Lausanne, Switzerland. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is also evaluating the plans of UCI for an independent investigation for examining the allegations about the own conduct of the federation and its relations with the cyclist as raised by the report by USADA.

The IOC said it has taken note of the decision made by the governing body of cycling and welcomes every measure taken to shed light on the full extent of the episode and to help the sport of cycling reform to move forward. It also added that that finding of the independent commission that will be looking into the role of the UCI and the recommendations for a healthy future for the game are awaited. However, the IOC may find itself in a dilemma whether to apply the eight-year statute for revising Olympic results or not. IOC vice president Thomas Bach said the report by the USADA took an intriguing approach that leaves the eight-year period open to discussion.

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Monday 27, Aug 2012

  Hypocrisy Of USADA Exposed

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Hypocrisy Of USADA Exposed – Cliff Notes

Lance ArmstrongThe USADA officials may have been feeling proud after banning one of the greatest legends of cycling, @Lance Armstrong, but actions of the anti-doping agency have received negative comments from sport lovers and coaches across the world.

Even U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks who dismissed lawsuit of Armstrong said that the conduct of the anti-doping agency raises serious questions about its interests. The Judge said it cannot be easily determined whether the USADA is more interested in charging the cyclist to combat doping or if it is acting according to less noble motives. He went on to add that he was disturbed by “apparent single-minded determination” of the USADA to go after the cyclist and force him before CAS and also said that the deficiency of USADA’s charging document is of serious constitutional concern.

 Lance Armstrong Doping – Guilty? – Video

The same can even be said of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) where American athletes have lost 58 of 60 cases and the Alberto Contador case is the best example of it. Despite the fact that the cyclist blamed clenbuterol-contaminated meat to be the reason behind the positive test and a minuscule amount of clenbuterol was found in his urine, the CAS said the substance was too small to have been performance enhancing in nature but still Contador was banned for two years while FIFA had cleared a majority of the players tested at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico who also tested for clenbuterol and blamed the same on clenbuterol contaminated meat.

One member of the panel hearing Contador case said, “There is no reason to exonerate the athlete so the ban is two years.” The former prime minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, openly extended his support for the cyclist and remarked that the ruling against Contador was so irrational that it gave “sufficient reasons to open a debate about their fairness.” WADA President John Fahey, in a rant, suggested that the cyclist was given a two-year ban instead of one because Spain PM had dared to open his mouth.

In the case of Armstrong, it is bizarre to even think of an agency that is too anxious to invalidate the results of a sportsman who has tested for hundred times and came clean during all. Moreover, all performances of Armstrong were achieved in Europe and the USADA has no control over cycling.

The words of Armstrong say it all. The cyclist while dropping the case said ‘enough is enough’ for him and he does not find it good to contest a case against an agency that is so one-sided and unfair. The USADA may have shown its power to the world by banning the cyclist for life and taking all his wins and medals but the entire procedure followed by it could easily smell like malicious intents.

The cyclist may still has hopes that he would ultimately be able to retain his seven titles as governing body of cycling and race organizers wrestle with USADA over who has the authority to strip the cyclist of the wins. The UCI has already asked the USADA to explain its case against Lance Armstrong on why the cyclist should lose his seven Tour de France titles.

Hypocrisy Of USADA Exposed

Monday 23, Jul 2012

  Contador Agrees To Rejoin Team Saxo Bank

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Alberto Contador 2Alberto Contador Velasco, the Spanish professional cyclist, who won the 2007 Tour de France with the Discovery Channel team would rejoin Saxo Bank, the Danish team have announced.

Contador was stripped of his victory of 2010 Tour de France after he tested positive for clenbuterol. He was thereafter handed over a ban of two years, which was back-dated to January 2011. The cyclist had already served a provisional suspension of about six months and would be able to ride once more on August 5.

Contador said the support received from Saxo Bank and team owner Bjarne Riis has been extraordinary and he is looking forward to getting back on the bike.

The cyclist won the 2008 Giro d’Italia, the 2008 Vuelta a España and the 2009 Tour de France; he initially won the 2010 Tour de France and the 2011 Giro d’Italia with team Saxo Bank-SunGard but was stripped of these titles after being found guilty of doping. Considered to be the best climbing specialist and stage racer in the world, Alberto Contador is regarded as one of the finest cyclists who excel in all aspects of stage racing that are needed for high places in the general classification. Nicknamed El Pistolero, Contador was nicknamed Pantani (after Marco Pantani, who is regarded as one of the best climbers of all times) because of his climbing skills.

The star cyclist was barred from competing at the 2006 Tour de France because of alleged connections with the Operación Puerto doping case along with give other members of the Astana-Würth team. Later on, all players were cleared of all charges on 26 July 2006 by the Spanish courts. In September 2010, he made an announcement that his urine sample taken on a rest day in the 2010 Tour de France contained Clenbuterol traces. The Spanish cyclist claimed his positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat. Anti-doping doctor Don Catlin added credibility to the explanation provided by the cyclist by saying clenbuterol is one of the more common contaminants found in food supplements.

The Legend of Alberto Contador

The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) proposed a one year ban in late January 2011 on Alberto Contador but later accepted appeal of the cyclist and cleared him of all charges. In March 2011, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency each appealed the RFEC decision independently to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Contador lost his Tour de France 2010 title on 6 February 2012 along with losing the 2011 Giro d’Italia title. “The presence of clenbuterol was more likely caused by the ingestion of a contaminated food supplement,” Court of Arbitration for Sport said in its ruling in Lausanne, Switzerland. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who finished second at the 2010 Tour, was given the title of 2010 Tour de France.

After the ban, five-time Tour champion Eddy Merckx said, “It’s like someone wants to kill cycling.” Oscar Perreiro called the verdict “disgraceful” and claimed Contador “is innocent.”

The ban means the cyclist will miss the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, and the London Olympics, but he will be eligible to ride in the Spanish Vuelta, which begins August 18. With the ban, he becomes only the second Tour de France champion to be disqualified and stripped of victory for doping after Floyd Landis, the American who lost his 2006 title after testing positive for testosterone.

Alberto Contador Velasco Anti-Doping Violation


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Saturday 21, Jul 2012

  Backup Sample Confirmed Schleck’s Positive Test

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Frank Schleck Fails Doping Test

Frank Schleck had tested positive for a banned diuretic at the Tour de France, according to the backup sample. The Luxembourg rider, however, maintained his innocence and said he has not doped.

“The result of the counter test was positive but for me nothing changes,” Schleck said in a statement. “I just know that I did nothing wrong!”

On Tuesday, the RadioShack Nissan Trek leader was pulled from the Tour after the International Cycling Union said he had tested positive on July 14. His first positive test jolted this year’s Tour de France besides reviving the doping allegations that have long tarnished the image of cycling.

Schleck said after the first positive test if the backup sample eventually confirmed it, then a complaint would be filed “against an unspecified person for poisoning.” In a statement on Friday, he made no mention of poisoning or a legal complaint but remarked he was determined to find out how the diuretic, Xipamide, had turned up in his system.

“Since I didn’t take anything, I assume it must have been given to me by someone,” Schleck said, suggesting that he could have consumed the banned substance “through an accidental contamination, or it could be caused by something that is not yet known to me.”

Born on 15 April 1980, Schleck is a Luxembourgish professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTeam RadioShack-Nissan. He is the older brother of Andy Schleck, winner of the 2010 Tour de France. Some of Frank’s greatest achievements include winning a blue riband mountain stage in the 2006 Tour de France that finished on the Alpe d’Huez, the 2006 edition of the Amstel Gold Race classic, an alpine stage of the 2009 Tour de France, and finishing in the sole company of his brother Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador.

The 32-year-old said he has witnessed the backup sample analysis at the WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry south of Paris and said he vowed to “continue my search to find out how the substance could have entered my body,” after seeing the test positive.

 Frank Schleck out of Tour de France after failing doping test

The World Anti-Doping Agency defines “specified substances” like Xipamide as those that are “more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation” and the diuretic is classified as a specified substance and does not require a provisional suspension. According to the “Dictionary of Doping” by Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, a French expert, athletes who dope usually take diuretics such as Xipamide for masking other banned performance enhancing drugs, or as a supplement for weight loss.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Backup Sample Confirmed Schleck’s Positive Test

WADA Prohibited List 2012 En WADA list of Banned Substances which Contains a full set of banned Diuretics and masking agents

Tuesday 17, Jul 2012

  Contador eyes comeback at Tour of Benelux

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Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador recently said that he hopes to make a comeback from a two-year doping ban at the Tour of Benelux in August. The week-long Tour of the Low Countries begins on August 6, the very day that ban of Contador comes to an end.

Contador was banned for testing positive for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

The 29-year-old reiterated that he had “lost confidence in sporting justice” after the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned him for two years and blamed his positive test on a contaminated steak that he ate during that year’s Tour.

The cyclist added he is targeting a place in the Spain team at September’s World Championships in the Netherlands and expressed intent to compete in both the road race and the time trial.

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