Tour de France - South African Impey fails drugs test

South African Daryl Impey, who wore the yellow jersey on last year's Tour de France, failed an anti-doping test for the masking agent Probenecid, the Orica-GreenEdge rider said on Wednesday.

Tour de France - South African Impey fails drugs test

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Daryl Impey after stage six win at 2013 Tour de France (AFP)

Probenecid is used to mask the use of doping substances, anabolic drugs in particular.

Impey was not included in Orica-GreenEdge's nine-man Tour de France team, which came as a surprise when the Australian outfit made their announcement on Tuesday.

"Further to the announcement of the Tour de France team and in the interests of full disclosure, I confirm that on 23 June 2014, I was notified by William Newman, the President of Cycling South Africa, about an adverse analytical finding for Probenecid following an in-competition test at the national time trial championships on 6 February 2014," Impey said in a statement.

"I had no knowledge of Probenecid nor have I ever taken the substance knowingly in any manner. I am committed to drug-free sport and fully intend to take all steps necessary to clear myself of any suspicion.

"The notification came as a complete shock to me just days before the start of the Tour de France, particularly since anti-doping tests conducted on me on 8 and 9 February 2014 yielded no adverse results.

"I immediately flew back to South Africa and was present at the analysis of my B sample on 27 June 2014, the results of which confirmed the initial analysis."

The Tour de France starts in Leeds, England on Saturday.

Last year, all-rounder Impey became the first African rider to wear the yellow jersey on the Tour de France when he led the overall standings during stages 6 and 7.

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