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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.