Alberto Contador at the Tour… UCI appeals for calm

Be nice to Bertie, say the blazers, after 'excessively long' legal process means he's free to ride

by Tony Farrelly   June 16, 2011  

Alberto Contador Press Conference in Yellow © PhotoSport International.jpg

Cycling's world governing body today issued a statement which, while regretting Alberto Contador's decision to ride in this year's Tour de France, also asked riders, fans, and the media "to show the utmost sense of responsibility in the coming days and weeks" despite any sense of disappointment or incomprehension they might feel at the Spanish rider's participation in cycling's biggest race.

The message is 'be nice to Alberto' at least until the Court for Arbitration in Sport hears the UCI and WADA's appeal against the decision by the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) to clear him for failing a dope test for clenbuterol on the final rest day at last year's Tour de France, which the then Astana rider went on to win. The Spanish federation instead chose to accept Contador's defence that he had eaten a piece of tainted steak.

"The UCI Management Committee asks that every sportsman and woman set aside their personal opinions, however valid they may be, and accept this framework, which is the result of a long and rigorous procedure.

"The UCI, which has always persevered in seeking out the truth, is ready to accept its responsibilities and is also keen to see the swiftest possible conclusion to the matter.

"Until that time, the UCI Management Committee asks that we respect Alberto Contador’s right to be treated like every other rider who takes the start of the Tour de France.

The prestige of the event warrants it, and the dignity of all athletes demands it."

Of course it isn't just the prestige of the Tour de France that is at stake (sorry) here, the UCI has also taken something of a battering over the length of time this process has now taken without yet arriving at a conclusion.

While acknowledging that the legal process surrounding Contador since he failed the test for clenbuterol at last year's Tour de France might be viewed as "excessively long" the statement went on to claim that this "is the logical result of the need for justice to be administered properly."

So while the UCI may be "ready to accept its responsibilties" – that doesn't include reponsibility for the slowness of the slow motion car crash that the Contador case has now become. However the UCI cites due process and wheels out none other than IOC President, Jacques Rogge as a witness in it's defence. Commenting on the affair yesterday the IOC President said:

“I agree that it will cast a question mark on the validity of the result until the verdict is rendered... but there is a presumption of innocence.”

Those wishing to put the UCI in the dock over this will question why the whole process took so long to get going – news of Contador's failed test was not released until the end of September and as the case of Alejandro Valverde proved ,the Spanish Cycling Federation would appear to have form when it comes to waiting a very long time indeed to take action against one of its star riders

You can read the full text of this release on the UCI's website (when they put it on there).

14 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

All I'm worried about is if I put him in my fantasy cycling team, he had better not get disqualified later or there will be serious bloody trouble!

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
16th June 2011 - 23:08


londonplayer wrote:
All I'm worried about is if I put him in my fantasy cycling team, he had better not get disqualified later or there will be serious bloody trouble!

Fantasy scores will stand regardless of whether he's eventually DQ'd or not. The hearing is now after the Tour so he won't be DQ'd mid-tour if that's what you're thinking.

Everyone dragging their feet here is very annoying. I don't see what extra evidence his lawyers are going to dredge up - are they going to go back in time and get a sample of the damned steak? IMHO they're playing for time, hoping that if he wins another Tour then the CAS will be under pressure not to turn 2 Tours and the 2011 Giro upside-down. I'd like to think that the CAS won't take this into consideration and will throw the book at him, but I don't think it's likely.


posted by stewieatb [298 posts]
16th June 2011 - 23:24

1 Like

I think the same as you Stewie, but I hope for the opposite result. I like Bertie.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [491 posts]
16th June 2011 - 23:26


can road cc stump up enough to hire a 'hit man' ie UCI insider leak. wouldn't want poor bertie exrcuted.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [964 posts]
17th June 2011 - 9:31


Obviously I'd be a fool not to put the chemistry set on wheels in my team. The UCI don't like innovative bike designs but they certainly appreciate good drugs.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

posted by Sanderville [218 posts]
17th June 2011 - 10:01

1 Like

If he must take part then let him but despite the UCI's appeal the media will have a field day. If he loves and respects the sport then he would have decided not to ride..... Dream scenario ... he is under pressure from Andy & Brad in the last week and being tired from the Giro he looks to his director for help! His director gets him the stuff and he gets caught!! ... its just a dream but he's not. In my fantasy team.

posted by GrimpeurChris [59 posts]
17th June 2011 - 10:16


If Alberto Contador were a close personal friend, my friendly advice to him would be… oh, hang on

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
17th June 2011 - 10:41

1 Like

tony_farrelly wrote:
If Alberto Contador were a close personal friend, my friendly advice to him would be… oh, hang on

More importantly, if the UCI was a close personal friend, what would be your friendly advice to them?

And if the UCI was a close personal friend, I'd seriously question your taste and judgement Surprise

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [209 posts]
17th June 2011 - 10:56


As per Giro d'Italia I ain't picking AC in my team for the TdF Not Talking
and incidentally am still managing a top 100 position without him.... it can be done. Smug

(& yes, I like riding with one crank missing and a blindfold too before anyone asks)

It doesn't get easier, you just go faster.....maybe

pward's picture

posted by pward [88 posts]
17th June 2011 - 11:20


GrimpeurChris wrote:
If he loves and respects the sport then he would have decided not to ride

and if the UCI loved the sport they wouldn't have been so reluctant to announce the positive test in the first place!

Contador is not in the clear, he is pending a CAS case, which if it goes against him means his 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro wins and other victories will be annulled. This is very, very far from satisfactory.

ASO seems to be going back on its robust view of refusing to let suspected riders ride in the 2008 Tour, and Boonen wasn't allowed to ride after his cocaine bust. It looks like they care only about income, not integrity.

Sensible talk from Bike-Pure on the subject:

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2001 posts]
17th June 2011 - 11:40



Thought you'd got rid of that photo Smile

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
17th June 2011 - 11:48


andylul wrote:

Thought you'd got rid of that photo Smile

Got one of him laughing at the Giro presentation in Turin. Been saving it in case the CAS decision goes his way;)

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8265 posts]
17th June 2011 - 12:43


There is the possibility that he's just that strong...

Armstrong is another story...

posted by neonguru [1 posts]
18th June 2011 - 1:09

1 Like

Saw McQuaid in an interview last night on tv, can't believe no one has posted.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [964 posts]
18th June 2011 - 9:10