Unidentified Tour de France cyclist tests positive for doping

Updated: July 27, 2006, 3:54 AM ET
Associated Press

AIGLE, Switzerland -- While the cyclist who tested positive for doping at the Tour de France won't be identified until backup tests are complete, it does not appear to be any member of USA Cycling -- including champion Floyd Landis.

The International Cycling Union said Wednesday that an unidentified cyclist turned in a positive doping test during the Tour, widening the scandal that gripped this year's race before it began.

His name, team and nationality won't be released until the testing process is completed, including the analysis of a backup sample.

But the sport's governing body did say the rider's team and national federation were notified, as well as national and world anti-doping authorities. USA Cycling has not been contacted by UCI, spokesman Andy Lee said.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency spokeswoman Carla O'Connell said that group had no comment.

Landis won the Tour de France on Sunday, keeping the title in U.S. hands for the eighth straight year. Lance Armstrong, long dogged by doping whispers and reports that he has vehemently denied, won the previous seven.

Tour spokesman Mathieu Desplats expressed surprise at the result, but would only say that race officials would await final results before taking action.

The UCI said in a statement that it received the report Wednesday from a Paris laboratory "stating an adverse analytical finding following an anti-doping test carried out at the Tour de France 2006."

Officials from the lab couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday night.

On the eve of the Tour's start, nine riders -- including pre-race favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso -- were ousted, implicated in a Spanish doping investigation.

The names of Ullrich and Basso turned up on a list of 56 cyclists who allegedly had contact with Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who's at the center of the Spanish doping probe.

Athletes allegedly went to Fuentes' Madrid clinic to have blood extracted for doping or to collect performance-enhancing drugs. Nearly 100 bags of frozen blood and equipment for treating blood were found at the clinic, along with documents on doping procedures performed on cyclists.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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