Earlier today, the UCI advised the Luxembourger rider Frank Schleck of an Adverse Analytical Finding (presence of the diuretic Xipamide based on the report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry) in the urine sample collected from him at an in competition test at the Tour de France on 14 July 2012.
Mr. Schleck has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.
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 defense in particular within the legal timeline, which allows four days for him to have his B sample analyzed.
That’s the UCI press release from this evening. Schleck is being withdraw from the race by his team. Only the UCI’s own press release calls for its own rules and due process to be suspended.
The rules vary depending on the class of banned substance discovered but let’s cut to the chase: tonight Franck Schleck has the right to stay in the race because if his A-sample is positive, his B-sample has yet to be tested. The UCI is using exactly the same wording as it deployed last year when Russia’s Sacha Kolobnev tested positive.
The call that Radioshack-Nissan takes “the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity” (identical wording was used with the Kolobnev case last year) is an open call for him leave the race. It is astonishing to see the governing body calling for its own rules and due process to be suspended.
Now I can understand the pressure and given the news his team would probably have withdrawn him to avoid scandal. But sure the governing body does not need to get involved here, instead it should be upholding its rules. Instead though it seems to be applying them selectively, announcing A-test doping controls and then hinting the rider must stop racing. It’s also curious that news of the A-sample positive has emerged before the B-test has been done.