Astarloza banned for doping offence, says will appeal

Paris: Mikel Astarloza has been suspended for two years following a positive test for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), the Spanish rider said on Saturday.

"I want to publicly announce that I have received a letter from the RFEC (Spanish federation) notifying me that I am officially suspended until June 26, 2011 for having broken International Cycling Union (UCI) rules," he said on his website.

"I maintain that I have done nothing wrong... I will appeal this suspension to the relevant authorities," he added without elaborating further.

Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Astarloza tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO in an out-of-competition test collected last June and was provisionally suspended on July 31.

He won the 16th stage of last year`s Tour de France, finishing 11th overall.

Bureau Report

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