Schleck quits Tour de France after failed drug test | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 17.07.2012
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Schleck quits Tour de France after failed drug test

Luxembourg's Frank Schleck has pulled out of the Tour de France after failing a doping test. The 32-year-old, who placed third in the Tour last year, tested positive for a banned diuretic.

Luxembourgrider Frank Schleck spent several hours in a police station in southwest France on Tuesday after testing positive for the diuretic.

Philippe Maertens, a spokesman for his RadioShack team, said the cyclist went to the Pau police station of his own accord to cooperate with authorities. He is reported to have left shortly after nightfall.

Earlier on Tuesday, the International Cycling Union announced that Schleck had tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide. In a statement, it said the diuretic was present in a urine sample "collected from him at an in-competition test at the Tour de France on 14 July 2012."

'B' sample to be tested

RadioShack responded saying it was withdrawing Schleck from the Tour de France. Maertens added that the team is likely to ask for the so-called "B" sample to be analyzed. It has four days to issue the request.

"If it comes back positive he will be suspended by the team," Maertens said.

Xipamide is classified by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a 'specified substance,' which means the 32 year old was not immediately subject to a provisional suspension. Under the World Anti Doping Code, specified substances are often "susceptible to a credible non-doping explanation" and are not necessity intended to enhance sport performance.

Schleck had been in 12th place overall in this year's Tour de France - 9 minutes, 45 seconds behind leader Bradley Wiggins.

In 2010, his brother Andy was awarded the race victory after Spain's Alberto Contador was stripped of the title for doping.

The race is due to resume on Wednesday following a second rest day on Tuesday.

ccp/slk (AFP, dpa, Reuters)