UCI bans French rider
Paris - French rider Steve Houanard was on Tuesday banned for two years by world cycling's governing body, the UCI, after testing positive for banned blood booster EPO.
Houanard, who has no major wins to his credit, raced for the AG2R La Mondiale team, which has not renewed his contract.
A professional since 2009, he tested positive in an out-of-competition urine test on September 21.
The UCI added that it had asked the Belgian cycling federation to instigate a disciplinary procedure against Belgian rider Leif Hoste "for an apparent violation of the anti-doping rules, on the basis of information provided by the blood profile in his biological passport.
"Mr Hoste shall be accorded the right to the presumption of innocence until a final decision has been made on this matter," the UCI said.
"In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time."