French cyclist Steve Houanard banned after failing drugs test

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has provisionally suspended Steve Houanard after the Frenchman tested positive for the banned substance EPO.

Houanard tested positive from an out-of-competition sample he gave on 21 September 2012.

The Ag2r-La Mondiale rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of a B sample.

Houanard's ban will remain in place until the French Cycling Federation completes its investigation.

A UCI statement read: "The provisional suspension of Mr Houanard remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the French Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules."