Schleck to miss Tour de France after ban

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 19:07

Frank Schleck will miss the 2013 Tour de France after he was handed a one-year backdated ban for failing a dope test during last year's race, the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) have announced

Schleck, third overall in the 2011 Tour, tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide following the 13th stage.

ALAD representative Raymond Mousty told a news conference that the ban started from the day Schleck failed the test - 14 July 2012.

Schleck, who has denied knowingly taking a banned substance, will be eligible to compete again two weeks after the start of the Tour. 

"Of course I am disappointed by the verdict that has just been announced. I think that the decision to suspend me during one year is too severe considering the fact that the Council acknowledged that I unintentionally consumed a contaminated product," Schleck said in a statement.

"Unfortunately the provisions of the UCI are such that an involuntary contamination is sufficient in order to pronounce a punishment.

"I think that the decision to suspend me during one year is too severe" - Schleck

"We will now analyse the decision in detail and decide on potential further steps. However I bear a positive aspect of the decision in mind, the judges acknowledged that I am not a cheater."

The 32-year-old rider, who also finished fifth overall in the 2008 and 2009 Tours, faced a possible suspension up to two years.

In its reasoned decision, ALAD explained that it opted for a one-year ban on grounds of proportional punishment, stating that it was Schleck's first doping offence.