Fränk Schleck will be free to return to competition in a little over three months’ time on 14 July after the World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that it would not be challenging the one-year ban handed to the RadioShack-Leopard rider as a result of his positive test for a diuretic during last year’s Tour de France.
While his return to the sport will be too late for him to ride in this year’s 100th edition of the Tour, the confirmation that neither the UCI nor WADA will be taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport removes uncertainty for the rider, who may well target the Vuelta which begins in late August.
Luxembourg’s national anti-doping agency, the Agence Luxembourgeoise Anti Dopage (ALAD), couild have banned the 32-year-old for up to two years but ruled that the substance in question, Xipamide, came to be in his body accidentally.
In handing down the one-year ban, however, it said that Schleck had failed to provide an adequate explanation of its presence.
There is no minimum threshold required for an adverse analytical finding of a diuretic, which can be used as masking agents for other drugs.
At the time the ban was announced, Schleck said: "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.
"Unfortunately the provisions of the UCI are such that an involuntary contamination is sufficient in order to pronounce a punishment.”
However, he has not appealed the ALAD’s ruling.
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.