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Russia's Kolobnev tests positive at Tour de France

Updated: July 11, 2011, 16:09


LEZAC, France (AP) Russia's Alexandr Kolobnev became the first cyclist at this year's Tour de France to fail a doping test, the International Cycling Union said Monday.

Kolobnev was in 69th place heading into Tuesday's 10th stage.

The UCI said a urine sample collected from Kolobnev last Wednesday tested positive for a substance called Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that can also be used as a masking agent hiding the presence of other drugs. The samples were analyzed at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, which is accredited by the World Anti-Doping.

It came on the Tour's fifth stage - a flat sprint from Carhaix to Cap Frehel.

Tour organizers and French Anti-Doping Agency President Bruno Genevois were not immediately available for comment.

Kolobnev, who rides for the Katusha team, has four days to request an analysis of his "B'' sample.

When asked whether Kolobnev would stay in the race, Katusha sports director Bart Leysen said, "I don't think so.'' Leysen told The Associated Press that the 30-year-old rider left the hotel with officers to go to the police station where he would be questioned, saying they "just want to check some things with him, papers, and normally they will bring him back later.''

The UCI can't provisionally ban Kolobnev because Hydrochlorothiazide is classified as a specified substance, which WADA defines as one that is "more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation.'' Its punishment for such a positive test ranges from a warning to a two-year ban.

Cycling's showcase race has been devastated by doping scandals over the years. Tougher new measures seemed to have produced fewer doping cases until defending champion Alberto Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in last year's race.

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AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire in Thiezac, France, and Associated Press writer Greg Keller also contributed to this report.

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