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Man stripped of 2010 Tour title speaks out in wake of Armstrong scandal

Alberto Contador, stripped of victories in the 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia earlier this year, has called for a zero tolerance approach to doping within cycling.

The Saxo-Tinkoff rider was speaking in an interview with French TV channel France 2 during its Stade 2 sports magazine programme, reports the website Cyclism’Actu.

“A zero tolerance is needed for cycling,” insisted the 29-year-old, who spent six months out of competition during 2012 as a result of the two year ban, mainly backdated, imposed on him as a result of his positive test for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France.

“I don’t speak as much as some others do, but it’s clear that there is no place for cheats,” added Contador, who continues to maintain that he was innocent of the charges that led to his ban and the loss of those two Grand Tour titles.

“I worked in a way that complied with the rules and hearing people say that this victory [the 2010 Tour] doesn’t belong to you is an injustice.”

The disciplinary action taken against him as a result of that positive test for clenbuterol – Contador continues to claim the presence of the banned substance in his system was due to his having eaten a contaminated steak – wasn’t the first time he had been involved in a doping inquiry.

In 2006, he was placed under investigation as part of Operacion Puerto, in which his then team Liberty Seguros was heavily implicated, but was subsequently informed by the authorities that he was no longer under suspicion. Contador will reportedly be one of the witnesses when the case goes to trial next year.

During last year’s hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the clenbuterol case, the World Anti-Doping Agency attempted unsuccessfully to introduce a witness who would testify on condition of anonymity, believed to have been a former team mate of Contador at Liberty Seguros, with the Spanish press putting forward Michele Scarponi or Jorg Jaksche as potential names.

The latter was one of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s witnesses against Lance Armstrong, and during the France 2 interview, Contador – who rode for Discovery Channel under Johan Bruyneel and again at Astana –clarified his own views on that scandal.

Initially, he had said that the American had in effect been “humiliated and lynched,” a statement many believed to be a defence of his former Astana team mate.

But now, Contador maintains, “My words were misinterpreted. I was being a bit ironic when I said he’d be missed. If Armstrong has been judged and found guilty, he needs to be sanctioned.”

Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team is currently waiting to hear whether it has secured UCI WorldTour registration for the 2013 season, with rumours that it is vying for the final ProTeam slot with the Dutch outfit Argos-Shimano.

Should Saxo-Tinkoff miss out and instead settle for UCI Professional Continental status, it would have to rely on a wild card to take part in races such as the Tour de France.

Contador, who returned from his ban in August and won the Vuelta the following month, alerted organisers ASO to his willingness to take part in the race while also highlighting the uncertainty that would result from Saxo-Tinkoff not securing top-tier status.

“Obviously I’d love to ride the Tour, I already missed it this year. But if I’m made aware of it two months before, I won’t go. I need enough time to prepare myself, so if that isn’t the case, I won’t go.”

 

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.

26 comments

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BigDummy [314 posts] 3 years ago
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We should have zero tolerance for doping.

But people who accidentally eat steroids for dinner are innocent and we should believe in them for the sake of clean sport. This is especially true if they ride it like it's 1999.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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What a dick.

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notfastenough [3709 posts] 3 years ago
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So would that be the kind of zero tolerance that results in, say, a life ban for a rider who (unwittingly?) tests positive for clenbuterol?

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antonio [1126 posts] 3 years ago
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You couldn't make it up!!

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Paul J [901 posts] 3 years ago
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BigDummy: The contaminated meat story was pretty thoroughly debunked. Firstly, why would someone from Contador's team drive quite a distance to fetch a steak for Alberto? Bit odd. Further, the meat he claims to be at high risk of contamination is imported meat, but the meat he eat almost certainly, by virtue of its price, must have been spanish meat. See §XI.4 on page 57 of the CAS decision, and its finding on page 62:

http://www.tas-cas.org/d2wfiles/document/5648/5048/0/Award20FINAL202012....

Further, we're talking about an athlete who competed through some of the dirtiest years of cycling. Who's been on several teams with at least a tolerance of doping (ONCE, Astana). Who beat the king of doping in a tour. etc.

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Steven_L [45 posts] 3 years ago
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Fk me, did his nose grow while he made that statement, the ceating chunt.

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SevenHills [211 posts] 3 years ago
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No mixed messages there then.
A zero tolerance for everyone else apart from those who allegedly eat contaminated steak.
I think it was better when he didn't say anything on doping as the more he opens mouth the more of his foot he can get in it!

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mingmong [263 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds a load of bullocks!

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BigDummy [314 posts] 3 years ago
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PaulJ: sorry, my comment needed some kind of eye-rolling smiley, I'm aware that Bert tells some stupid little lies and is an obnoxious cheat-weasel who was rightly banned for doping.

 16

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jollygoodvelo [1477 posts] 3 years ago
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"No-one here but us chickens!" said Mr Fox.

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CraigS [129 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

So would that be the kind of zero tolerance that results in, say, a life ban for a rider who (unwittingly?) tests positive for clenbuterol?

Or urinates plasticisers. I'll struggle to believe cycling is clean and the tests are working until Contador is caught properly.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh I wish we had zero tolerance when this cheat was caught, we would of been rid of the idiot

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wheelsucker [58 posts] 3 years ago
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“I worked in a way that complied with the rules and hearing people say that this victory [the 2010 Tour] doesn’t belong to you is an injustice.”

Told em where he'd be, when he'd be etc and if he was able to beat the system by useing appropriate regimes (low dosing, minimal glow times bad meat etc) makes it not his problem of course.
Similar words from LA saying he didn't break the rules in 98...technically he didn't, EPO wasn't on the banned list when he started using it.
A slight case of semantics here from Contador...perhaps there is a translation error
 39

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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It's the same statement that's come from countless Spanish riders - I didn't test positive, so I didn't cheat.
Doping's not actually illegal in Spain is it? So all you've got to worry about is glow time.

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 3 years ago
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So hard not to laugh aloud

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headfirst [82 posts] 3 years ago
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PaulJ, are you American? Not big on irony are you!

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gazza_d [465 posts] 3 years ago
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bye then Bertie, been nice knowing you!

Oh, sorry is he not retiring then?

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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Contrary to popular belief, Americans have a highly developed sense of irony. Why else would USPS have had a "zero tolerance policy" regarding dopers?

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Brummmie [58 posts] 3 years ago
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Christ on a bike !

I nearly choked on my steak !

What a scummy little man.

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Uphillj [5 posts] 3 years ago
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In my family Bert is also known as Alberto Carnavor, though this has nothing to do with my sons love of dinosaurs!

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Paul J [901 posts] 3 years ago
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BigDummy, headfirst: Doh, apologies. I'll go stand in the corner and recalibrate my irony/sarcasm sensors.  3

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dullard [140 posts] 3 years ago
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Alongside the comic genius that is 'the Cobra' Ricco, of whom it was only half joked that his hematocrit was higher than his IQ, the little pistol boy is cycling's comedy gift that keeps on giving. Ironic statement about Armstrong? Really, Bertie? Spanish cyclists don't do irony. They don't even know what irony is.

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Lungsofa74yearold [285 posts] 3 years ago
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Can't wait till he gets caught next time - he get the opportunity to practice what he preaches with a lifetime ban!!!  19

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AlanD [12 posts] 3 years ago
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Puerto, ONCE, Astana, clenbuterol and pissing plasticisers.

And zero tolerance.

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume something got lost (or completely inverted?) in translation. I can't imagine he'd lie or anything... Much.

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AJR [1 post] 3 years ago
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I like Bertie  16

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emily.b [16 posts] 3 years ago
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I like bertie too  4