|Fränk Schleck in last Giro Pic by @IlariaPranzini|
Shocked like everybody, I don't deny, I read the breaking news on my phone while enjoying a night out in a fresh square of Florence. It made me suddenly sleepy, I couldn't keep my eyes open and that's why I didn't post anything till now. I wanted to know what happened exactly and what Fränk had to say about. Andy said: "On my life and on my family, I'm sure he hasn't taken anything," and on my life I believe him.
1. yesterday "the UCI advised Luxembourger Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) of an Adverse Analytical Finding in a urine sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Tour de France on July 14, 2012. The WADA accredited laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry detected the presence of the diuretic Xipamide in Schleck's urine sample. According to UCI anti-doping rules the finding does not require a provisional suspension, but in a statement the UCI said, "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." Xipamide, the substance found in Schleck's urine, is not specifically mentioned on WADA's prohibited substance list." http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/uci-announces-adverse-analytical-finding-for-frank-schleck-at-tour-de-france
2. RSNT sent around a quite cold press release: "Even though an abnormal A sample does not require these measures, Mr. Schleck and the team believe this is the right thing to do, to ensure the Tour de France can go on in calm and that Fränk Schleck can prepare his defense in accordance with the legal timing to do so. On the subject of xipamide the team can declare the following: it is not a product that is present in any of the medicine that the team uses and the reason for the presence of xipamide in the urine sample of Mr. Schleck is unclear to the team. Therefore, the team is not able to explain the adverse findings at this point" The expression 'Mr. Schleck' particularly impressed me.
3. Fränk wilfully went to the police and said: "A doctor from the UCI has tonight informed me that a Prohibited Substance has been detected in my urine during a routine doping control performed on July 14, 2012. I categorically deny taking any banned substance. I have no explanation for the test result and therefore insist that the B sample be tested which is my right. If this analysis confirms the initial result, I will argue that I have been the victim of poisoning."
4. Fränk wilfully retired from the race "to respect for the Tour" even if the UCI rules allowed him to start.
My opinion: I firmly believe that Fränk is clean because of many reasons. Some of them are 'personal' and can't make an evidence but some others are objective and I think everybody should agree with them.
1. Fränk didn't want to go to this Tour de France and didn't want to be the team leader: he said he was very tired and that his top shape was already gone after a very long season. He has no goals in this race and he was racing under his normal level. Why should have he doped? to keep going? and why? many MANY riders retired in this Tour and he will probably change team at the end of this season so he had no reasons to please RSNT.
2. Leopard SA recently stopped paying him - also - and even suggest him - also - to sue the team if he isn't happy. In such a situation I don't expect the team to support Fränk. At the opposite I would be not surprised if they were trying to discreditate him.
3. Even admitting the sample B is positive - sometimes it is not especially for those kind of substance - it isn't epo, cera or similar but a diuretic. It could maybe cover something else but till there is no evidence of that 'something else' it is just a diuretic. So and in that case Fränk could face a warning and a fine, at least a short bann. This story remind me - and others - Kolbnev's case: he has been completely cleared so no panic please and be careful when you talk of 'doping', 'dopers' etc.
The B sample will be ready in four days: lets wait. It was already a sad Tour without Andy, it's a very sad Tour now, without Fränk too. I'm going to leave to France tomorrow night and I leave with a very heavy heart. Allez Fränk! stay strong and I'm sure all will be cleared soon. Fortunately you have got a good, honest, caring family and many friends. Daniele Bennati retweetted a quote shared by his wife: "Who is not your friend now, has never been it". Agree.