In an interview with Spanish television the head of the Spanish Federation (REFEC) has warned Alberto Contador that should he choose to appeal the one year ban given him by the federation's disciplinary committee that he might well end up with a two year ban – the length of sentence many feel he should have got in the first place.
Sources close to Contador have indicated that he may well be prepared to appeal and take the matter to the Court for Arbitration in Sport. Ahead of the Spanish rider's joint press conference this afternoon with his Saxo Bank Sungard team boss Bjarne Riise, RFEC president Juan Carlos Castano warned the Contador that appealing to CAS might be counter productive and lead to an even longer ban adding, in an early candidate for understatement of the year, that such a move that this might lead to the case becoming more "complicated".
Whether Castano's comments are intended as a shot across Contador's bows to put up and shut up and recognise a good deal when it's offered to him, or simply a statement of the blindingly obvious the likelihood is that whatever happens this case will be heading for CAS and possibly beyond. If Contador accepts his sentence it is almost inconceivable that one or both of the UCI or WADA won't appeal it and if he doesn't well, the same parties are all still going to end eye-balling each in court with only the seating arrangements likely to be in any way different. Some might also think it slightly rich of anyone associated with the Spanish cycling federation to be lecturing anyone else, even Contador, about the consequences of their actions complicating the situation considering that the biggest complication in the disciplinary process is the work of Mr Castano and his colleagues at REFEC.
The Spanish Federation's imposition of a one year ban for failing a test at last year's Tour de France for the drug clenbuterol which burns fat and boost lean muscle mass, has seemingly pleased no-one, neither the rider, nor the UCI which has already expressed its anger, and certainly not the World Anti Doping Authority whose officials had poured scorn on Contador's tainted steak defence – which was subsequently accepted by REFEC are happy with the present outcome.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.