Chinese rider Li Fuyu of Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack has been provisionally suspended by world cycling’s governing body, the UCI, after it was revealed that he had tested positive for the anabolic agent Clenbuterol during the Dwars Door Vlaanderen race on 23 March.
Under UCI rules, the Chinese Cycling Federation must now convene to decide whether the cyclist, who retains the right to demand a B sample, has breached article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping rules.
Clenbuterol can help increase aerobic capacity and is often used to treat people with breathing disorders such as asthma.
Reuters reported earlier today that Chinese officials were still awaiting formal confirmation of the failed test from the UCI, but were prepared to impose the relevant sanctions should it be confirmed, with a spokesman for the Chinese Cycling Association telling the news agency: "We have not got the formal notification from the UCI. If the violation is confirmed, we will hand out a punishment according to relevant regulations."
A statement from Team RadioShack, quoted in the Guardian, said: "Li has been immediately suspended pending the outcome of his B-sample test in the next few weeks. If that test is positive the rider will be removed from the team.”
It added: "Team RadioShack and its management take this incident very seriously. We will respect the rights of our rider but will enforce our zero-tolerance policy should his B-sample test positive."
Li, who turns 32 next month, was the first Chinese rider to break into top-flight professional cycling. He began his professional career with the China-based UCI Continental Trek-Marco Polo Cycling Team in 2005. In 2007, he Johan Bruyneel signed him for the Discovery Channel Team and when that disbanded the following year, Li returned to Marco Polo, before rejoining Bruyneel at the end of last season following the creation of Team RadioShack.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.