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UCI asks Belgium to sanction Hoste on doping grounds

PARIS (Reuters) - Three-times Tour of Flanders runner-up Leif Hoste faces disciplinary proceedings after an apparent violation of anti-doping rules.

"The UCI announces that it has asked the RLVB (Belgian National Cycling Federation) to instigate a disciplinary procedure against the Belgian rider Leif Hoste for an apparent violation of the anti-doping rules, on the basis of information provided by the blood profile in his biological passport," the International Cycling Union (UCI) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hoste, 35, retired at the end of the 2012 season.

The UCI also announced that Frenchman Steve Houanard had been suspended for two years after testing positive for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

Cycling continues to battle a doping problem despite progress being made since the era of now disgraced drugs cheat Lance Armstrong.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows)

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