Fränk Schleck free to race from July after WADA decides not to appeal one-year ban
Rider will miss Tour de France, but will be back riding in time for the Vuelta
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.