PAU, France (AP) — Luxembourg rider Frank Schleck denied taking any banned substance despite testing positive for a forbidden diuretic at the Tour de France, and has suggested he may have been poisoned.
The RadioShack Nissan Trek team leader said he "formally rejects" having taken any banned substance, and requested the B sample to be tested.
A statement sent by the rider to media in Luxembourg said, "If this analysis confirms the first result, a complaint will be filed against an unspecified person for poisoning."
A RadioShack spokesman on Wednesday confirmed the authenticity of the statement to The Associated Press. The team pulled him from the race after the positive test, and said he would be suspended if the backup sample comes back positive, too.
He's the older brother of Andy Schleck, the 2010 Tour champion who didn't enter this year because of a spinal injury. Frank was third last year.
Cycling's governing body the UCI said on Tuesday that Schleck tested positive for the banned diuretic Xipamide on Saturday, another reminder of the doping cloud that has damaged the image of cycling.
The diuretic is classified as a specified substance and doesn't require a provisional suspension. The World Anti-Doping Agency defines "specified substances" like Xipamide as those that are "more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation."
Bans for such substances are often shorter, and athletes have a better chance of proving that they didn't intend to consume it or enhance their performance.
Tour chief Christian Prudhomme, speaking near the start of Wednesday's 16th stage into the Pyrenees, noted Schleck, under UCI rules, could have taken the start.
"It is a wise decision — and for that matter, the only one imaginable," Prudhomme said in a statement lasting less than a minute. He didn't take questions.
Schleck was in 12th place overall — 9 minutes, 45 seconds behind leader Bradley Wiggins — going into Tuesday's rest day.
Andy Schleck was awarded the 2010 Tour victory after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title because of his positive test for clenbuterol.
AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin contributed to this report.