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Tour de France rider Frank Schleck quits after drug test

Team withdraws rider rather than appeal finding.
Frank schleck tour de france drugsEnlarge
Luxembourg's Frank Schleck rides during the 14th stage of the Tour de France. Schleck, a former podium finisher on the tour, has tested positive for a banned diuretic, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on July 17, 2012. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Tour de France rider Frank Schleck, a contender to win this year, failed a drug test and withdrew from the competition today despite an avenue to appeal.

The 32-year-old Luxembourg cyclist, who finished third last year, tested positive for the banned diuretic xipamide on July 14, the International Cycling Union announced.

“Earlier today, the UCI advised Frank Schleck of an adverse analytical finding in the urine sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Tour de France,” the ICU said on its website.

Because diuretics have greater chance of having medical explanations, the UCI calls them “specified substances” and allows riders the chance to defend themselves.

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However, Schleck’s RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team said he would leave the tour rather than request that a second sample – the “B” sample – be tested. 

"On the subject of xipamide, the team can declare 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," a team statement said. "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."

He was 12th this year, nine minutes and 45 seconds behind leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain. 

The older brother of 2010 winner Andy, Schleck has faced doping allegations in the past, The Daily Telegraph reported.

His connection to Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, a player in a notorious Spanish doping ring, led Schleck’s old team, CSC Saxo Bank, to suspend him.

Schleck first denied any wrongdoing, but later admitted depositing money into a Swiss bank account linked to Fuentes.

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