Contador domestique André Cardoso tests positive for EPO, kicked off Tour squad

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Portuguese rider André Cardoso has been suspended by his Trek-Segafredo team on the eve of the Tour de France following an out-of-competition positive test for EPO in mid June.

Cardoso had been named in the Trek-Segafredo line-up for the Tour, which starts in Düsseldorf this Saturday; a line-up which was built around the general classification aims of two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador. Instead, Cardoso has been removed from the Tour team and suspended by his team.

“To our cycling family, we have some disappointing news to share,” a Trek-Segafredo press release said. “It is with deep disappointment that we have just learned that our rider, Andre Cardoso, has tested positive for a prohibited substance. In accordance with our zero tolerance policy, he has been suspended immediately.

“We hold our riders and staff to the highest ethical standards and will act and communicate accordingly as more details become available.”

The Trek-Segafredo statement came as the sport’s governing body, the UCI, was announcing the positive.

“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that Portuguese rider André Cardoso was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of Erythropoietin in a sample collected in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 18 June 2017,” the UCI statement reads. “The control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

“The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample. In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.”

Cardoso’s positive test came just a week after he completed the Criterium du Dauphine, one of the two main warm-up races before the Tour de France. Cardoso finished 19th overall while riding in support of Contador, who ended the race in 11th.

Cardoso joined the WorldTour in 2014 when he signed with Garmin-Sharp. He stayed with the Slipstream Sports setup through to the end of 2016, at which point he joined Trek-Segafredo as a mountain domestique for Contador and Bauke Mollema.

Cardoso has one pro victory to his name — a stage of the Volta Portugal in 2011.

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