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Trek Segafredo's Andre Cardoso out of Tour de France after testing positive for EPO

Portugeuse rider, due to support Alberto Contador, protests innocence and urges that B sample be tested "as soon as possible"...

Trek Segafredo rider Andre Cardoso , who was due to play a key supporting role to the Spaniard at the Tour de France, has been provisionally suspended by the UCI after testing positive for EPO in a targeted out-of-competition anti-doping control on 18 June. Protesting his innocence and saying he has never taking a banned substance, he has asked the UCI to test his B sample "as soon as possible."

The test was carried out a week after the 32-year-old Portuguese rider had finished 19th overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where Contador finished 11th.

World cycling's governing body, the UCI said that "The control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling."

It added: "The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample. In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair."

At this stage of the procedure, the UCI will not comment any further on any of these matters.

In a statement, Trek Segafredo said:

To our cycling family, we have some disappointing news to share.

It is with deep disappointment that we have just learned that our rider, Andre Cardoso, has tested positive for a prohibited substance. In accordance with our zero tolerance policy, he has been suspended immediately.

We hold our riders and staff to the highest ethical standards and will act and communicate accordingly as more details become available.

Cardoso joined Trek Segafredo this season from Cannondale-Drapac and would have been making his Tour de France debut.

In a statement published on his Facebook page on Thursday evening, he said he had never taken a prohibited substance, and urged the UCI to test his B sample "as soon as possible."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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