Luxembourg agency widens inquiry into cyclist Frank Schleck

LUXEMBOURG -- Luxembourg's anti-doping agency has expanded its investigation of cyclist Frank Schleck, who was provisionally suspended by his team last week.

Schleck, who finished sixth overall in the Tour de France and led the July race for three days, told the agency last week that he transferred money to a Swiss bank account held by a Spanish doctor at the heart of a major doping scandal.

The agency ruled on Tuesday that his statements denying that he doped or had direct contact with Eufemiano Fuentes were insufficient to clear him.

"It has been decided to carry out an additional investigation at different levels," the agency said in a statement, without elaborating how long the process will take.

His CSC Saxo Bank team acknowledged that Schleck told them he transferred almost $9,500 to an account held by Fuentes in March 2006 "to receive training advice by experts who presumably worked with some of the biggest names in the sport."

Fuentes was at the heart of Operation Puerto, cycling's biggest-ever doping investigation, which was set off by police raids at clinics in Madrid and Zaragoza in May 2006 that turned up steroids, hormones and the endurance-boosting substance EPO, nearly 100 bags of frozen blood, and equipment for treating blood.

Over 50 cyclists, including 2007 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, 2006 Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso and 1997 Tour champion Jan Ullrich, were reportedly linked to the scandal.

Schleck admitted making "a serious blunder" and deeply regretted the contact with "these people," the team said.