BERN, Switzerland - Former Astana cyclist Matthias Kessler received a two-year ban and US$4,550 fine for doping Friday from the Swiss Olympic disciplinary committee.

The German rider was found to have "a forbidden substance in his body," the disciplinary committee.

Astana suspended Kessler in April when his sample showed elevated testosterone levels after a surprise test.

Kessler will be banned until July 27, 2009, and forfeits all titles and prize money earned since April 24, the committee said.

Kessler finished fourth at the Fleche Wallonne race on April 26. He finished sixth in the third stage of the Tour de Suisse on June 18. At the 2006 Tour de France, his best finish was second in the third stage on July 4.

Kessler, the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Association have three weeks to challenge the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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