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Tour de France winner tested positive

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2009 | 1:03 PM

Tour de France stage winner Mikel Astarloza says he had no idea how he tested positive for the endurance-booster EPO in a sample taken before the start of the race.

The 29-year-old Spaniard has been provisionally suspended by cycling\'s governing body after returning a positive test in an out-of-competition control on June 26, eight days before the Tour began.

It is currently the only doping case to tarnish the 2009 Tour.

Astarloza says when he was told of his positive test in a telephone call from an International Cycling Union inspector last Friday he thought it was a joke.

Astarloza says he had lost faith in the system, even if a second analysis proves his innocence.

Astarloza won the 159-kilometre 16th stage, a trek through the Swiss, Italian and French Alps, on July 21.