Rider cannot explain presence of banned substance in his system

The day after the announcement that Alexander Kolobnev has tested positive for a banned substance at the Tour de France, the Russian Katusha rider has issued a statement saying he cannot explain how the drug hydrochlorothiazide got into his body.

On his personal website he says: "Yesterday, during the rest day I was reported the laboratories had found a substance, hydrochlorothiazide, which I do not know where its come from.”

“Therefore, waiting for more information, I have nothing to say about it for respect to the race organizers and cycling in general. After police's investigation made after being tested positive, the French police found nothing suspicious so we are waiting for the results and what investigation may say.”

The rider goes on to explain his decision to voluntarily withdraw himself from the Tour thus:

“Asked by my team about what I wanted to do after this news, I have decided to leave the Tour de France in a voluntary and personal decision waiting for the b-sample in the following days and, again showing my respect to UCI and WADA rules.

“I must say that I have received all the support from the team from the beginning and I have not been fired, as some media reported yesterday".

Katusha later confirmed that should Kolobnev's 'B' sample test positive he would be sacked from the team and under the terms of his contract be required to pay a fine of five times his current salary for damaging Katusha's reputation.