Frenchman Steve Houanard has failed a dope test for the banned blood booster erythropoietin and has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union the organisation said last night.
The UCI said that AG2R La Mondiale rider Houanard had failed an out-of-competition test on 21 September. Houanard can request the testing of his B sample.
Meanwhile, Scottish cyclist Andrew Fenn, who rides for Omega Pharma-Quick Step, finished a creditable second on the opening stage of the Tour of Beijing, which was won by Italian rival Elia Viviani of the Liquigas Pro Team. There are four more stages of the Tour, which finished on Saturday.
Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen finished third in a messy sprint finish at the end of the 117km stage after British team-mate Alex Dowsett hit the front inside the final 5km and forced the other teams to chase him.
Viviani crossed the finish line in two hours, 37 minutes and 49 seconds, with 22-year-old Fenn at the same time.
Fenn was born in Hertfordshire, but pledged his allegiance to Scotland, the home nation of his mother, and rode for his adopted country at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in Delhi.