DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) One of Alberto Contador's key support riders has failed a doping test and been suspended from the Trek-Segafredo team four days before he was slated to start the Tour de France.
The UCI says Andre Cardoso of Portugal was notified that he tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO following an out-of-competition test about 10 days ago.
A statement from Trek says that ''in accordance with our zero tolerance policy, (Cardoso) has been suspended immediately.''
Cardoso can request that a backup ''B'' sample be tested before the UCI decides on an eventual punishment, although he has already been provisionally suspended by the sport's governing body.
Cardoso had been called on to help Contador on the key mountain stages of the Tour, which starts Saturday in Duesseldorf.