Cape Town - South African Daryl Impey, who wore the yellow jersey on last year's Tour de France, has failed an anti-doping test for the masking agent Probenecid.
He released a statement on his website on Wednesday.
Further to the announcement of the Tour de France team and in the interests of full disclosure, I confirm that on 23 June 2014, I was notified by William Newman, the President of Cycling South Africa, about an adverse analytical finding for Probenecid following an in-competition test at the national time trial championships on 6 February 2014.
I had no knowledge of Probenecid nor have I ever taken the substance knowingly in any manner. I am committed to drug-free sport and fully intend to take all steps necessary to clear myself of any suspicion.
The notification came as a complete shock to me just days before the start of the Tour de France, particularly since anti-doping tests conducted on me on 8 and 9 February 2014 yielded no adverse results.
I immediately flew back to South Africa and was present at the analysis of my B sample on 27 June 2014, the results of which confirmed the initial analysis.
I am extremely distressed by the finding, as I have always raced clean throughout my career. Every result that I have achieved to date has been as a result of hard work and dedication on my part. I notified my team immediately after being informed by Cycling South Africa of the adverse finding. I would like to thank them, my family and friends for their support during this difficult time. I remain confident that I will be vindicated and proved innocent of any wrongdoing.