Tour de France: Frank Schleck pulled from Tour after failing drugs test

 

Pau

Frank Schleck, who came third in the 2011 Tour de France, has quit this year's race after failing a drugs test, a team spokesman for his RadioShack squad said last night.

The UCI, cycling's governing body, said that the Luxembourg rider, lying 12th before yesterday's departure, had returned an "adverse analytical finding" for the slimming agent Xipamide.

In line with anti-doping rules the finding does not require Schleck to be suspended or even to stop racing However, the UCI dropped a very heavy hint that his presence in the Tour would not be good for the race's already battered image, saying: "The UCI is confident that the team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity." According to Reuters Schleck's team has now pulled him out of the race.

The matter is further complicated by the fact that Xipamede, the substance in question, is not, according to specialist website cyclingnews.com, specifically mentioned on WADA's prohibited substance list. Last year the Russian Alexandr Kolobnev tested positive in the Tour for a banned slimming agent and was suspended by his team, but was later cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Nor is this the first time that Frank Schleck has been linked to a doping scandal. In 2008 he confirmed he had made a payment of nearly €7,000 (£5,500) to a Swiss bank account belonging to Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto doping scandal in 2006, for unspecified "training plans".

Schleck has been one of cycling's big players for more than five years. In 2006 he won the Tour's stage to its most mythical summit finish of Alpe D'Huez, in 2008 he led the race for several days and in 2010 he won the Tour de Suisse, cycling's fourth-biggest stage race.

Pau, where today's stage 16 begins, is rapidly gaining the reputation as a place where Tour de France drugs scandals are, in a bizarre series of historical coincidences, seemingly all but bound to hit the headlines.

In 2010, Spain's Alberto Contador was in a hotel in the city on the Tour's rest day when he tested positive for clenbuterol (first place was then awarded to the runner-up, Frank Schleck's elder brother and team-mate Andy), and in 2007 the entire Astana team was expelled from the Tour after its race leader Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping. A day later in the same year, the Tour was still based in Pau when the Cofidis team pulled out because of a positive dope test for testosterone for Italian Cristian Moreni, and the Tour's overall leader, Michael Rasmussen, was expelled by his team for lying to the UCI's antidoping teams about his whereabouts.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there