PARIS (Reuters) - Portuguese cyclist Andre Cardoso of Alberto Contador’s Trek-Segafredo team has been provisionally suspended after failing a test for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Tuesday.
Cardoso had been included in Trek-Segafredo’s team for the Tour de France that starts on Saturday in Duesseldorf, Germany.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that Portuguese rider Andre 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 said in a statement.
Cardoso will be replaced by Spain’s Haimar Zubeldia in their nine-man squad for the Tour, which is spearheaded by twice champion Contador and German John Degenkolb, the team said.
Zubeldia is set to start his 16th Tour de France.
Cardoso, 32, who had managed top-20 finishes in the Giro d‘Italia and the Vuelta a Espana, was to be one of Contador’s domestiques in the mountains on the Tour de France, which runs from July 1-23.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis