By Agence France Presse
Credit Agricole rider Dmitriy Fofonov has been handed a three-month ban after testing positive for a banned stimulant at the Tour de France.
Traces of heptaminol – which is found in products aimed at improving blood circulation – were found in a sample provided by the 31-year-old Kazakh.
He was informed of the positive test at the end of the race’s 21st and final stage to the Champs Elysees, where he finished 19th overall.
Registered in France, he has been sanctioned by the disciplinary commission of the French Cycling Federation (FFC). The penalty is lighter than most doping penalties and it appears that the sanction was reduced because Fofonov had argued that the violation was inadvertent.
Credit Agricole manager Roger Legeay said Fofonov told the team he bought a product over
the Internet to fight muscle cramps. However, the clock on Fofonov’s suspension will not begin to tick until January 1 and he will be allowed to ride in April, 2009.
Contacted by AFP, the FFC declined to comment on the details of the case.
One of the oldest teams in the professional peloton, Credit Agricole will fold at the end of the year, after losing its title sponsor, meaning Fofonov and many other of the team’s riders have been looking for new jobs.