Tour de France: Roman Kreuziger withdrawn from race by Tinkoff-Saxo
Last Updated: 29/06/14 10:21am
Roman Kreuziger has been ruled out of the Tour de France as he faces an investigation over anomalies in his biological passport.
The Czech rider would have been one of Alberto Contador's chief lieutenants in the mountains and his absence deals a blow to the Tinkoff-Saxo team leader's hopes of victory in the race, which starts on Saturday in Yorkshire.
Kreuziger is being investigated for periods during the 2011 and 2012 seasons when he was with the Astana team - during that time he finished fifth in the 2011 Giro d'Italia and won the young rider's classification.
A statement from Tinkoff-Saxo said the UCI "is likely due to instigate disciplinary proceedings against (Kreuziger) arising from an alleged violation of its anti-doping rules due to abnormalities detected in his biological passport in 2011 and 2012".
Their statement continued: "Through our own medical staff and independent verification, the team was satisfied that Roman's blood profile had valid medical and scientific explanations other than the use of doping methods or substances. This was subsequently confirmed by the expert opinions Roman shared with the team.
"The team has decided, in agreement with Roman, that he will not ride in any races including this year's Tour de France until more information becomes available to the team.
"Though he won't be racing for now, until more information becomes available to the team, it will not provisionally suspend Roman unless required by the UCI or the Czech Federation."