Luxembourg's Frank Schleck, a former podium finisher, quit the Tour de France Tuesday after testing positive for a banned diuretic, his RadioShack team told AFP. Schleck, who finished third in 2011, is currently racing the 99th edition with the RadioShack team run by Johan Bruyneel. His positive test for a banned diuretic was announced earlier by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
RadioShack spokesman Philippe Maertens told AFP that "Schleck has left the race." He added the team would soon be issuing a statement. Earlier, a statement from the UCI said 32-year-old Schleck had been informed of an "Adverse Analytical Finding (presence of the diuretic Xipamide based on the report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry) in the urine sample collected from him at an in competition test at the Tour de France on 14 July 2012."Schleck has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.
Before Schleck quit the event, the UCI had said it expected RadioShack to take swift action. After years of doping scandal, the race is now governed by strict anti-doping rules meaning that any rider even suspected of doping is ordered to leave the race by his team.
"The UCI Anti-Doping Rules do not provide for a provisional suspension given the nature of the substance, which is a specified substance," added the statement. "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 analysed."
THE TEAM'S OFFICIAL RESPONSE:
Here's the official statement from the Radioshack-Nissan-Trek team:
"Our team attaches great value to transparency. Because of this, we can announce the following as a response to the adverse analytical finding of xipamide in Fränk Schleck's urine sample of July 14 during the Tour de France. After being informed by the UCI about the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Fränk Schleck on July 14, the team has decided to immediately withdraw Fränk Schleck from the Tour de France.
Even though an abnormal A sample does not require these measures, Mr. Schleck and the team believe this is the right thing to do, to ensure the Tour de France can go on in calm and that Fränk Schleck can prepare his defense in accordance with the legal timing to do so.
On the subject of xipamide the team can the following: it is not a product that is present in any of the medicine that the team uses and the reason for the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Mr. Schleck is unclear to the team. Therefore, the team is not able to explain the adverse findings at this point. However, the team is fully determined to collaborate with the anti-doping agencies in order to resolve the matter."