French cyclist Houanard banned 2 years for doping

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AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Cycling Union says French rider Steve Houanard has been suspended for two years for doping with EPO, and a disciplinary case has been opened against Leif Hoste of Belgium.

The UCI says Houanard has accepted his sanction.

Houanard was suspended by the UCI last October pending a disciplinary case by the French cycling federation. News of his out-of-competition positive test emerged ahead of the Tour of Beijing.

The rider was pulled from the Chinese stage race by the Ag2r-La Mondiale team. The UCI says it has asked the Belgian federation to open a case against Hoste based on irregular blood values in his biological passport.

Hoste is a three-time runner-up in the Tour of Flanders one-day classic.

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