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Spaniard Astarloza fails doping test

The winner of the Tour de France 16th stage Mikel Astarloza has been suspended after a positive doping test. The Spanish cyclist could face disqualification from the French event on top of being banned.

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AFP - Spanish cyclist Mikel Astarloza, who won the 16th stage of the Tour de France, has been suspended after he failed an out of competition doping test, international cycling's governing body said Friday.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) said it had informed Astarloza of the provisional suspension while the Spanish cycling federation holds a disciplinary hearing on the positive test for EPO last month, before the Tour began.

"The decision to provisionally suspend Mr Astarloza was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Madrid indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of Recombinant EPO in a urine sample collected from him at an out-of-competition test on 26 June 2009," UCI said in a statement.

Astarloza can call for an analysis of his B sample in case of doubts about the laboratory test.

The Spanish rider, who finished 11th in the overall standings of the 2009 Tour de France, which began on July 4, could face disqualification from the event on top of a ban from cycling.

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