Frank Schleck has been handed a back-dated, one-year suspension from competition by the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) after failing a test for a banned substance during the 2012 Tour de France.

The RadioShack rider tested positive for banned diuretic xipamide from a urine sample taken on July 14 during the Tour. Schleck requested that his B sample be tested, and this also returned a positive for xipamide.

News of the positive test broke on July 17, and RadioShack removed him from the race. His ban will commence on the day that the test was taken – July 14 2012, meaning that he will miss this year’s Tour de France and every race before it.

Schleck maintains his innocence, saying that the substance must have been unwittingly consumed via a ‘contaminated product’. The Luxembourger has the right to appeal against the sanction via the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Xipamide is part of a family of drugs known as diuretics, which causes the body to urinate more frequently. This has the effect of causing the body to lose water. Diuretics can be used to mask the use of other banned substances, although they offer little in the way of sporting performance enhancement themselves. It was this latter point that ALAD took into account when giving Schleck a one-year, rather than two-year ban.

Schleck was third overall in the 2011 Tour de France, one place behind brother Andy. He has previously won the Tour de Suisse, Criterium International and Tour of Luxembourg. 

Schleck was suspended by the CSC team in 2008 after it was discovered that he had made a payment to Dr Eufemiamo Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto doping investigation. He was later cleared of any wrong-doing by ALAD.

Fuentes is currently giving evidence in the Operacion Puerto trial in Spain.

Related links

Frank Schleck positive for banned substance at Tour de France

Frank Schleck’s Tour B sample also positive for banned substance

Frank Schleck: Rider Profile

  • David Wells

    I have been a cycling fan for more than 60 of my 74 years. In all that time every one of my heroes (Merx, Pantani, Millar, Armstrong, Schlek, etc., etc.) has eventually been tested positive or admitted to using a banned substance or a similar performance enhancing treatment. In many cases the substance has not been on the banned list at the time but has been added later once the governing bodies have learned of the contents of the concoction. However the competitor, cyclist, athlete, or footballer knew that the substances improved their performance, otherwise why would he or she use them? Cycling has the most advanced testing system of any sport but has failed time and again to enforce the rules in a way that would deter competitors from using some form of treatment. As it is almost every pro cyclist uses something to try to race on a level playing field. No competitor races with plain water in his bidon, OK the substance may still be legal at this time but it enhances the performance. This applies to all teams including some that claim to be “clean”. I do not know what the answer is but I do wish that the powers that be would get together and agree how to deal with the problem, even if they agree to ban all guilty riders for life or at the other extreme lift the ban on all substances!

  • Colnago dave

    As in my comment regarding Rasmussen another from CSC – what more needs to be said about that team home to Alberto now in its latest guise as Saco Bank Tinkoff

  • stepho

    ‘Contaminated product’ …….yeh, sure Frank, the only contaminated product involved in your test was yourself. Another cheating doper let off too lightly. No deterrent whatsoever.

  • Mike

    If the substance he tested positive for can be used to mask the use of other banned substances how can this be taken into consideration to give him a reduced ban???
    Also, having the ban backdated? It beggars belief.

    It is no wonder athletes are tempted to cheat when they are only slapped on the wrist by there federations like this. And we thought it was only the Spanish that looked after ther own.

  • gg/gg

    Yet another let off because the amount was “so small”. He had taken a drug so he should get at least a 2 year ban : Guilty