Frank Schleck faces a possible two-year ban from cycling after his B-sample tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide today. UCI confirmed the positive result and has requested disciplinary action.
Schleck has protested his innocence and according to one source even suggested that he may have been “poisoned.” The Inner Ring has an excellent analysis of the positive finding and Schleck’s options for fighting it. Just to play the devil’s advocate, here’s Chris Horner’s take: We really don’t 100% know what’s going into our bodies.
Generally I avoid mixing opinion and news in one post, but the whole doping deal is a little tiresome. I’m waiting to hear the cycling equivalent of the all-purpose schoolboy excuse: “The dog ate my homework.” Schleck may come up with legitimate proof of innocence – anything is possible – but from here it looks like a long shot.
To all the people who avow that cycling is cleaner ten years ago, I disagree. OK, so times up the Alpe d’Huez are ten minutes higher than they were 10 years ago. Perhaps fewer riders are doping. Or perhaps they’re micro-dosing. But prominent riders are still being caught. Schleck isn’t some domestique trying anything to hold onto his tenuous place on a team. He’s at the pinnacle of the sport. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out.