RadioShack-Nissan rider Frank Schleck has tested positive for a banned diruetic in a urine sample taken from the Luxembourger during the Tour de France on Saturday, July 14. RadioShack confirmed the positive, and have removed him from the race.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced on Tuesday that Schleck returned an ‘adverse analytical finding’ for xipamide, detected by the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory in France.

The 32-year-old was given four days during which to request that his B sample be tested, a right which he has taken up.

A UCI statement said: “Earlier today, the UCI advised the Luxembourger rider Frank Schleck of an adverse analytical finding (presence of the diuretic Xipamide…) in the urine sample collected from him at an in competition test at the Tour de France on 14 July 2012.”

“The UCI Anti-Doping Rules do not provide for a provisional suspension given the nature of the substance, which is a specified substance.

“However, the UCI is confident that his team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity and to ensure that their rider has the opportunity to properly prepare his defence in particular within the legal timeline, which allows four days for him to have his B sample analysed.”

RadioShack-Nissan released a statement on Tuesday evening confirming Schleck’s departure from the 2012 Tour: After being informed by the UCI about the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Frank Schleck on July 14, the team has decided to immediately withdraw Frank Schleck from the Tour de France.”

“Even though an abnormal A sample does not require these measures, Mr Schleck and the team believe this is the right thing to do, to ensure the Tour de France can go on in calm and that Frank Schleck can prepare his defense in accordance with the legal timing to do so.”

The statement also noted that xipamide 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.”

Schleck was 12th in the overall classification of the Tour after stage 15, nine minutes and 45 seconds behind leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky). RadioShack-Nissan are leading the team classification.

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 the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency.

Schleck went into the Tour de France having competed in the Giro d’Italia in May. On Sunday, he admitted that this year’s Tour route didn’t really suit him due to the amount of time trials.

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  • borderfox

    personal y I think Shleck is just taking the piss

  • scandalxk

    PeterLB: One quick answer – it’s not.

  • Woody

    Contaminated chicken drumstick brought in from Luxembourg?

  • scandalxk

    This allegation cannot be too much of a surprise to anyone who has followed the Schlecks’ careers: Operation Puerto, the police raid on Schleck senior’s car (not random, one has to assume), payments to Fuentes. Typically, the dopers are the ones who have the effortless sudden acceleration in the mountains; Ricco was a prime (blatant) example, and in the last few years the most obviously outstanding in this respect have been Schleck, Schleck and Contador.

    By extension, this does also raise the difficulty of how to promote the also-rans in the event that (say) Armstrong is convicted of doping during his run of wins. Just because you knock Armstrong off his perch, you cannot automatically replace him with the runner-up unless you submit that person to the same level of scrutiny. Retrospective review of the results is fraught with difficulty.

    In many people’s eyes the connection with Bruyneel will not help Frank Schleck’s case.

  • John

    I really hope that this type of positive test is a result of athletes trying to take harder drugs and mack them with this type of stuff. The worst thing for the sport of cycling and sport in general would be if history showed that general foods provided to these guys were causing this contamination. This would be bad as even clean riders would be at the mercy of testing positive and this would really plunge the sport into doubt as you would not know who to trust.

    it is interesting that the team do not use this medicine and therefore raises the question of how these athletes are getting these type of drugs whilst on what is essentially a 3 week road trip without anyone noticing.

  • Colnago dave

    I now see that he is going to ask for his B sample to be tested and if it confirms the A sample result he will plead that he has been poisened – Nuff said ??

  • PeterLB

    Crikey, he’s been doping and he’s still hopeless. His performances went downhill after the Puerto ring was busted, but he was still cheating?! He must be completely and utterly talentless.

    One quick question: Why is it ALWAYS riders from certain teams that get caught (Bruyneel and Riis’ teams)?

  • Jan

    Xipamide is on the list for a reason. Some of “benefits” of using it, is weight reduction and it will also has a good effect on shadowing other drugs. I am not surprised it is on the list. Terry, I agree with you. As long as the UCI dont apply stronger measures for the cheaters and allow them to come back after a year or two, this sport will never be clean.

  • Nick

    Xipamide is a diuretic – it will thin out the urine with water from the body. It will also dilute any drugs that are in your body. This type of drug abuse was commly used in the 80`s by a number of sprinters in athletics

  • adam

    “Diuretics are of interest to testers because they flush liquid rapidly out of the body and so can be used as masking agents to ensure that substances that might produce a positive test are removed from the system rapidly.” to quote The Guardian today…

    Despite other blips, I too didn’t have Schleck on the radar as a dodgy character… and still hope he isn’t.

  • Steve R.

    Diuretics such as Xipamide can be used as masking agents i.e. they used to flush out other drugs before a test is taken.

  • Rob

    Diuretics can be used to flush out or mask the signatures or by-products of performance enhancing drugs. There may be other benefits i’m not aware of

  • Ol Rappaport

    Xipamide may be used as a masking agent

    http://theconversation.edu.au/frank-schleck-the-tour-de-france-and-doping-so-whats-xipamide-8295

    1) People who are trying to rapidly lose weight to achieve a lower weight class (think any combat or power sport) will use diuretics to temporarily dehydrate themselves below their weight category limit, “weigh in”, and then rehydrate for competition. An enormous advantage can be gained this way, as athletes frequently compete several kilos above their scale weight.

    2) Somewhat more sinisterly, diuretics are used as “masking agents” to hide the presence of other drugs in a urine test. The main method of action for masking is simple. A diuretic increases the amount of urine produced so if an athlete keeps their hydration high and manages their electrolyte balance, they can produce drastically diluted urine which is less likely to show the presence of any other banned performance-enhancing substance.

  • Tricky Dicky

    @Ian it is a diuretic. The idea behind its use would be to make you p*ss like a camel. Why would you want o do that you ask? Well, that way it gets the really bad stuff that you don’t want to test positive for out of your system nice and quickly. Essentially, it is a masking agent – if he is found guilty (no B test yet…) likely it was used in conjunction with a steroid to assist with muscle recovery. His 2006 association with Fuentes did it for me – it stopped Vroomen sponsoring CSC any longer as he didn’t believe the excuses. Wonder wht this means for the little brother – they are awfully close after all.

  • Ian

    Xipamide is a diuretic, which basically dehydrates you. I don’t know why this is a banned drug, as why the hell would you want to dehydrate yourself? Looking on Wikapedia I cannot see any benificial sporting effect it would have, in fact just the opposite! Can anybody explain why an athelete would want to take Xipamides, except for genuine medical reasons.

  • Colnago Dave

    This plus paymentes to Fuentes and the fact that his fathers car was searched for drugs a couple of years ago, makes you wonder does it not ?? !!

  • Andrew McQueen

    Sadly not a big surprise this story given the implication in Puerto in 2006. hope it doesn’t overshadow the achievements of Wiggo, Froome and Sky come Sunday.

  • Herbie

    Well, when Frank Schleck tweeted that the Tour this year was boring, and loads of us replied ‘well, you’re boring, what are you going to do to liven it up?’, we didn’t mean this!! Unsurprisingly his twitter account is now suspended!

  • Terry

    WHEN will these muppets ever learn?
    I was expecting Sagan (who reminds me of Ricco) to be positive, Schleck was not on my radar.
    A minimum 4 year ban MUST now come into force, or even a lifetime ban for a second offence.
    I’ve said it before, every rider has to be tested every day until it stops.
    Just a thought, how come this sort of news comes out on a rest day ??

  • Ali Manners

    Johan Bruneels team….nuff said.

  • Ali Manners

    Disappointed and disgusted in equal measure. No place for cheats anymore.

  • DopeToWin

    But they all said it was a clean Tour this year!