A member of the management committee of world cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has hinted that Alberto Contador could be looking at a ban of two years following his failed test for clenbuterol during last summer’s Tour de France.
Peder Pedersen was speaking on a programme on Friday evening transmitted on the TV2 Fyn channel of his native Denmark, also home to Contador’s new team, SunGard-Saxo Bank.
“The information we [the UCI] hold at the moment,” said Pedersen, “is that Contador has committed an offence that triggers a ban of two years, so I do not think he will race the Tour de France this year,” Pedersen told the programme, according to a report on TV2 Sporten’s website.
It’s not entirely clear whether Pedersen was talking about what is actually going to happen to Contador – the case is currently before the Spanish cycling federation, the RFEC, whose decision is expected within the next few weeks – or what he and the UCI believed should happen to him, and the Dane offered no further clarification of his remarks.
Clenbuterol is a substance for which no minimum threshold is required to trigger a ban, and Contador’s defence is based on claims that he ingested it innocently after eating a contaminated steak.
Should the RFEC fail to give Contador the full two-year ban that, on the face of it, the presence of clenbuterol in his bloodstream appears to merit, then the UCI is likely to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.