Tour de France Rider: I May Have Been Poisoned

Team RadioShack pulls Fränk Schleck out of competition
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2012 9:13 AM CDT
Frank Schleck of Luxembourg waits for the start of the 11th stage of the Tour de France, July 12, 2012.   (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

(Newser) – Team RadioShack pulled Fränk Schleck out of the Tour de France yesterday, after the Luxembourg cyclist tested positive for a banned substance. But Schleck insists he's innocent, and is using a fairly novel defense. "I have no explanation for the test result and therefore insist that the B sample be tested," he said in a statement, according to the Telegraph. "If this analysis confirms the initial result, I will argue that I have been the victim of poisoning."

Schleck finished third in last year's Tour. This year he's in 12th, but RadioShack is first in the team standings. Schleck tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide, which is classified as a "specified substance," meaning the World Anti-Doping Agency acknowledges that it could have wound up in an athlete's body inadvertently, CNN reports. Though the International Cycling Union couldn't force Schleck to withdraw, it issued a statement suggesting his team "take the necessary steps" to ensure the Tour can "continue in serenity."

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