Schleck blasts 'severe' ban

2013-01-30 22:18
Frank Schleck (AP)

Luxembourg - Frank Schleck blasted his one-year doping ban as "too severe" on Wednesday after he was sanctioned for failing a drugs test on last year's Tour de France.

The 32-year-old Schleck, who was third on the 2011 Tour, tested positive for the banned diuretic Xipamide.

Schleck can appeal the sanction, which was back-dated to July 14, 2012, but if the punishment stands he will miss the 2013 Tour when it gets underway on the Mediterranean island of Corsica on June 29.

"I am disappointed by the verdict. I think that the decision to suspend me for one year is too severe considering the fact that the council acknowledged that I unintentionally consumed a contaminated product," said Schleck.

"Unfortunately the provisions of the UCI are such that an involuntary contamination is sufficient in order to pronounce a punishment".

Frank Schleck, the older brother of 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck, will lose all of his results from the 2012 event in which he was standing in 12th place overall when he was forced out.

"The disciplinary commission of ALAD sanctioned Frank Schleck under article 21.1 of the International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations," said Luxembourg's anti-doping body (ALAD) president Robert Schuller.

The Luxembourg rider was sent home by his RadioShack team after failing the drug test following the 13th stage of last year's Tour, in which he had finished in 15th place.

Schleck, who has always insisted on his innocence, said at the time that he had no idea how the diuretic got into his system.

Despite the ban, Schleck said the decision proved that he cannot be labelled a doper.

"I am relieved that the judges acknowledged that the present is not a case of doping and that I had no intention to enhance my performance. This is very important for me, my family, for my team and all those who support me," he added.

"We will now analyse the decision in detail and decide on potential further steps. However I bear a positive aspect of the decision in mind -- the judges acknowledged that I am not a cheater.

"I know that I did nothing wrong."

Read more on:    frank schleck  |  cycling


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