Schleck cleared in doping probe
LUXEMBOURG -- Luxembourg cyclist Frank Schleck was cleared Tuesday by his national anti-doping agency of involvement in a Spanish scandal.
The Grand Duchy's anti-doping authorities said that after a two-month probe nothing illegal could be established beyond the fact that Schleck had transferred some money to a Swiss bank account of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, the man at the heart of a major cycling doping scandal.
"The case is shelved without further consequences," the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency said.
Schleck, who finished sixth in the Tour de France and led the race for three days, told the agency two months ago that he transferred money to the Swiss account. The agency said that beyond the payment, there was no available information, including from the International Cycling Union, to link Schleck with Fuentes and doping activities.
"No illegal use of a substance nor an illegal method could be established, not even alleged," LADA said, adding that the payment in itself was not enough to punish the rider.
Schleck's team, CSC Saxo Bank, had acknowledged that the rider told them he transferred almost $9,500 to an account held by Fuentes in March 2006 "to receive training advice by experts who presumably worked with some of the biggest names in the sport."
Operation Puerto was set off by police raids at clinics in Madrid and Zaragoza in May 2006 that turned up steroids, hormones and the endurance-boosting substance EPO, nearly 100 bags of frozen blood, and equipment for treating blood.
Over 50 cyclists, including 2006 Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso and 1997 Tour champion Jan Ullrich, were reportedly linked to the scandal.
Schleck had admitted making "a serious blunder" and deeply regretted the contact with "these people," the team said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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