A backup drug test on Tour de France rider Frank Schleck confirmed a positive finding for a banned diuretic, cycling’s ruling body said in a release.
Luxembourg’s Schleck quit the Tour three days ago in the second drug scandal to hit the race in a week.
Schleck, third in the event last year, was found to have Xipamide in a urine sample, said the International Cycling Union, known as the UCI. The result was confirmed by analysis of the B sample, the UCI added today in an e-mailed statement. The diuretic can be used as a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs.
“The analysis of the sample B of Frank Schleck’s urine carried out today has confirmed the result of the adverse analytical finding,” the UCI said. “In accordance with the anti-doping rules, the UCI will request the Luxembourg Federation to open a disciplinary procedure against the rider.”
Schleck has denied taking any banned substance, saying he could have been the victim of poisoning. He repeated his denial of wrongdoing after the latest test, Agence France-Presse reported.
“The result of the counter-test was positive but for me nothing changes, I just know that I did nothing wrong,” he was cited as saying by AFP. “I will therefore continue my search to find out how the substance could have entered my body.”
Even though UCI rules don’t mandate an automatic suspension for the drug in Schleck’s sample, the rider and his RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team agreed that he should withdraw from the Tour.
Another rider, Remy di Gregorio, was suspended by the Cofidis team on July 10 as it investigates whether the French cyclist tried to take performance-enhancing drugs. He also denied wrongdoing.
Schleck’s positive test is the latest setback for the RadioShack squad. Manager Johan Bruyneel is sitting out the race after being accused of overseeing doping on the U.S. Postal Service team that was led by Lance Armstrong. Bruyneel denies the charge by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and has asked for his case to be heard by an arbitration panel.
The Tour ends July 22 in Paris, with Bradley Wiggins leading by 2 minutes, 5 seconds and poised to become the first British winner of the event.