Luxembourg cyclist Frank Schleck has denied doping after he was dropped from the Tour de France for failing a drugs test. A statement from him today suggests he might have been poisoned.
Schleck was 3rd in last year’s race, and was 12th in this year’s rankings up until now – and 9 minutes behind British leader Bradley Wiggins. Schleck tested positive for the banned diuretic, Xipamide, on Saturday. It’s the second time in a week that this year’s event’s been rocked by controversy. . He rode for Radio Shack-Nissan and last night his manager, Richard Maertens, spoke to reporters saying he believed their rider was innocent, but that they had no choice but to drop him: ‘We must presume he’s innocent … We have no reason to doubt, we have no choice but to note there is a product, we cannot deny this… He has no explanation. That's how it is."
Xipamide stops water retention and helps whoever takes it lose weight – of course a big advantage to cyclists wanting to scoot fast up the mountain stages in the Tour. But Schleck ‘categorically denies’ taking the banned substance saying in a statement that he wants a B Sample to be tested: "If this analysis confirms the first result, a complaint will be filed against an unspecified person for poisoning."