Kessler banned

Tour stage winner gets two years

Ex-Astana and T-Mobile team rider Matthias Kessler has been handed a two-year ban after testing positive for testosterone, the Swiss Olympic authorities said Friday.

The 28-year-old German will be suspended until July 26, 2009 following the positive test for the banned male sex hormone during a random doping control in April 2007. The day after the test Kessler finished fourth in the Belgian one-day classic Fleche Wallonne.

In 2006 Kessler won a stage on the Tour de France while racing for T-Mobile, who have recently pulled out of sponsoring cycling due to a series of doping cases.

Kessler was suspended by the Swiss authorities because Astana was at the time a Swiss-registered team.

© AFP 2007

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