Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Russian tests positive for diuretic at Tour de France

kolobnev_alexandr487_381.jpg (381×267)
The UCI said a urine sample collected from Kolobnev last Wednesday tested positive for a substance called Hydrochlorothiazide, which is a diuretic that can also be used as a masking agent that hides the presence of other drugs. The samples were analyzed at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, which is accredited by the World Anti-Doping.
It is the first positive case at this year's race, and happened on the Tour's fifth stage — a flat sprint stage from Carhaix to Cap Frehel.
Tour organizers and French Anti-Doping Agency President Bruno Genevois were not immediately available for comment.
Kolobnev was in 69th place heading into Tuesday's 10th stage.
Kolobnev, who rides for the Katusha team, has four days to request a "B" sample analysis.
Katusha sports director Bart Leysen told The Associated Press that Kolobnev was currently meeting with team management and that a decision on whether he continues in the race was likely to be taken later Monday night.
When asked whether Kolobnev would stay in the race, Leysen said "I don't think so."
The UCI can not provisionally ban Kolobnev because Hydrochlorothiazide is classified as a specified substance, which WADA defines as one that is "more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation." Its punishment for such a positive test ranges from a warning to a two-year ban.
"The UCI is confident that his team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity and to ensure that their rider has the opportunity to properly prepare his defense in particular within the legal timeline, which allows four days for him to have his B sample analyzed," the UCI said in its statement.
Positive tests for diuretics are not uncommon in sport.
Brazilian swimmer Cesar Cielo, the 2008 Olympic champion in 50-meter freestyle and three Brazilian teammates tested positive for the banned substance furosemide in May at a meet in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil's swimming federation accepted the four swimmers' explanation that they consumed the drug in a contaminated batch of a supplement they regularly used, giving them a warning instead of a ban.

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