AURILLAC, France (VN) — Alexander Kolobnev is out of the Tour de France after he tested positive for a banned diuretic.
The UCI announced Monday that Kolobnev’s urine sample taken after stage 6 tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a masking agent that’s on the banned list.
Kolobnev was later seen leaving his team hotel in nearby Vezac in one of two Katusha team cars that were being escorted away by two police cars.
“We have decided to take Alexander Kolobnev out of the Tour de France,” Katusha sport director Dimitri Konyscev announced at the team’s hotel.
Later, the team released a statement saying that Kolobnev had made the decision to leave the race.
“Team Katusha rider Alexander Kolobnev, after testing positive for a diuretic at a medical examination during the Tour de France’s first week, decided to suspend himself according to UCI rules, waiting for the B-sample,” said the statement.
“At the moment, team management and the rider have no further comment. It has to be noticed that internal rules in Team Katusha say that the rider, if the B-sample also tests positive, will be fired and will have to pay five times his salary as a fine.”
According to the UCI, the tests were conducted at the French lab at Chatenay-Malabry.
In a statement, the UCI noted that it could not suspend Kolobnev unless a second sample also tested positive. He has four days to request a test of the so-called “B-sample.”
The 30-year-old, a silver medal winner at the 2009 world road championships, was placed 69th in the overall Tour de France standings, 22 minutes, 15 seconds behind leader Thomas Voeckler.
Kolobnev, a multi-time national champion, is also a respected one-day classic srider who finished fourth in the Olympic road race in Beijing at the 2008 Games. His Olympic result was later upgraded to bronze after silver medalist Davide Rebellin tested positive for EPO.
He has also finished on the podium of several hilly classics, finishing third in the Tour de Lombardy in 2009, sixth at the Amstel Gold Race the same year and runner-up at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2010.