Contador to get one year ban claim Spanish press

Wishful thinking or well informed speculation?

by Tony Farrelly   January 25, 2011  


Reports in the Spanish media today are suggesting that Alberto Contador may be handed a one year ban when his case is finally decided next month by the Spanish cycling federation. While this would lead to him being stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title it would also raise eyebrows because it is less than the UCI's two year statutory ban for failing a drugs test.

Contador tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol after a test on the second rest day at last year's Tour de France which can be used to aid rapid weight loss - a number of cyclists have failed tests for the substance in the past year and all, like Contador, claim to have ingested it accidentally. Contador claims to have eaten a steak contaminated with the drug (used illegally by some farmers to increase the lean mass of their beef cattle) that was brought over the border from Spain when he didn't like the food on offer at his team's hotel restaurant.

According to the Spanish press the Spanish Federation will opt for a one year ban on the grounds that no-one has been able to show how the substance entered his body and that it was present in a minute amount. However, neither the World Anti Doping Authority (WADA) nor cycling's governing body, the UCI recognise a lower limit for the presence of Clenbuterol in an athlete's body - any amount equals a failed test which should automatically lead to a statutory two year ban - this was the case with the RadioShack rider Li Fuyu who also failed a test for the substance in 2010.

Should Contador only receive a one year ban, he will not only be stripped of his 2010 title but will miss the 2011 Tour de France also, however such a ban is likely to bring the Spanish federation in to conflict with both the UCI and WADA and the sentence might well be challenged by one or both of those bodies. Time will tell if the speculation in the Spanish press is accurate, although the fact that these reports have appeared in more than one paper (Marca and AS) may suggest that someone knows something, although it is also possible that this is an exercise in testing the waters to see what the reaction to such a short ban might be or indeed wishful thinking on the part of some Spanish sports journalists.

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I've just posted a comment on this on another site so can't be bothered to type the full thing again.

If this happens it is a disgrace and proof that punishment depends on who you are as much as what you have done. Has any other sentence for doping been based in any degree, on proving how the drugs were administered.

Though I have become quite numbed to doping cases appearing what I am finding most annoying now is the way that the governing bodies are handling the whole sorry business.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [390 posts]
25th January 2011 - 14:25

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Just one year? Is that is ffs?

posted by Karbon Kev [671 posts]
25th January 2011 - 16:50

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He was suspended in September I think.

I guess that means if he gets a one year ban next month he's already served almost half of it?

Back before the end of the year. Doesn't sit well really does it?

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posted by elbooch [24 posts]
25th January 2011 - 17:10

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It'll be interesting to see what ASO do about the tour this year should he manage to get out of it or they some how manage to backdate it to the start of the last Tour. You know - "oh well this is the event that he failed his test at so his suspension really started before the Tour".

Not got much faith in the new golden boy being treated the same as any other cyclist.

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posted by bikeandy61 [390 posts]
25th January 2011 - 17:53

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Yet another cyclist, Danish, blood tested positive for banned muscle builder Clenbuteral:
"I can safely say that I have not taken the substance knowingly. I have been fully aware of the team’s values and philosophy — which the team has always turned to — any kind of doping is cheating and not under any circumstances acceptable,” Nielsen said on the Danish cycling site.
The irony: that anyone with half a grain of sense should know that this guy, and Alberto Contador of Spain, are speaking the truth. Neither of these guys is so stupid as to risk the ruination of a $-multi-million career by taking such an overly-easily-detected banned substance. It's an illegal substance in the cattle industry, but still in use. You're a world-hopping champion cyclist; you can't go into a restaurant & know-for-sure the meat isn't contaminated with Clenbuteral...!
The "Gotta Love It": here the cycling world is ripped-apart for months now debating the guilt/innocence of Contador; to where they're so late with the verdict, he may not have time to enter this year's Tour de France. And @ the 11th-hour (as they are about to decide...) along comes this Danish cyclist with precisely the-same-circumstance-and-statement! If the big guns in the industry don't "take the hint" & exonerate Contador, they're total MORONS.
Contador has already - shouting his obvious innocence - said that if he is given the 2-year penalty, that he'll not return to the sport. And I wouldn't blame him. Maybe this case will wake up the officials to the vulnerability of their tests.

posted by Elfstone [9 posts]
25th January 2011 - 18:06

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"The Spanish press"? Is that as reliable an institution as the British press, which includes such venerable publications as the Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Daily Star, etc? Thinking

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posted by cavasta [203 posts]
25th January 2011 - 21:46

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Elfstone, what a load of rubbish (IMHO), are you surprised that Contador is shouting his innocence. Has there ever been a cyclist claiming anything other than his or her innocence ?? (Dave Millar I think is the only example of someone owning up and saying it’s a fair cop to my knowledge) I mean Floyd Landis went to the Courts claiming he was stitched up, spent his life savings, lost his marriage and still claimed his innocence until he admitted he’d been doping for years as had most of his team and they had all got away with it. Riis professed innocence at his 60% figures (it was a standing joke at the time) until he and all his T-Mob mates admitted they were doped to the eyeballs (Kaiser excepted for some reason). Ricco says he’s innocent, left his pregnant girlfriend when she tested positive because he couldn’t be seen to be tainted by such badness. Don't even mention Marco Pantani.

EVERYONE says they’re innocent, Contador has been ducking and diving this for years, he was named in Puerto, then his name was “removed”, blah, blah, blah.

And as for the Spanish authorities……..anyone remember Alejandro Valverde ? He was “innocent” and ducked a ban for YEARS, even winning races right up till the last moment and the stupid ProTour and the Spanish kept saying they were looking into it.

Nothing will ever be sorted until the UCI and ASO get together and refuse to allow any Spanish riders race until the Spanish Authorities are cleaned up and cleaned out and doped riders are banned for life.

posted by roadiesean [69 posts]
26th January 2011 - 10:41

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