Man who supplied Contador's 'contaminated' beef made president of Spanish cycling federation
Lopez Cerron said he brought the meat from Spain because the food in the Tour team's hotel kitchen wasn't good enough
The man who delivered the "contaminated" beef to Alberto Contador, that saw the rider stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title, has been named president of the Spanish cycling federation, the RFEC.
Lopez Cerron, a former pro cyclist himself, bought the allegedly contaminated meat in Irun, a town on Spain's border with France in the Basque country, before taking it to Astana's team hotel in Pau, France where it was eaten by Contador on the 2010 Tour de France's second rest day, Eurosport reports.
That was Contador's excuse, anyway, when he tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance, the positive result being disclosed only two months after he had won the race.
Contador returned to cycling this August after serving six months of a mainly backdated two year ban eventually handed to him after an 18-month battle, and went on to win the Vuelta in September.
Cerron, who organises the Tour of Castilla and Leon in Spain, was voted in at an assembly in Madrid on Saturday, the RFEC said.
Cerron explained to El Periodico that he was asked by the cook to bring to the hotel, after a rest day, "a sirloin for riders, [because] here the meat is very bad".
"I decided to get it before crossing the border and I did in Irun [in Spain]. I did not know that town, so I parked the car, I started to look until I found a butcher. I bought a whole beef tenderloin," he says.
He arrived in Pau and gave the meat to the chef, who had to cook in the Astana team bus as he was not allowed to use the hotel kitchen.
"Vinokourov... he was very hungry and was the first to go down to the restaurant... He had finished the meal." Vinokurov, however, passed doping control the next morning and did not show any abnormal value of clenbuterol.
Contador was found to have a minute dose – 50 picograms per millilitre – of the controversial performance enhancing drug clenbuterol in his system, an amount which was 40 times below the minimum requirement of detection capability required by WADA, although there is no minimum threshold for a rider to test positive.
Initially, the RFEC decided to ban the rider for a year, who then appealed and had the ban quashed by the the Spanish Federation appeal committee, a decision that provoked accusations outside Spain of political interference.
The UCI and WADA appealed the decision of the Spanish Federation to the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) for a final ruling.
The CAS eventually decided in February this year that Contador should be stripped of the results obtained in the 2010 Tour de France and later, which also caused him to lose his 2011 Giro d'Italia victory. He was also suspended until 5 August 2012, and his contract with Team Saxo Bank was annulled, although he returned to Bjarne Riis's outfit after serving his ban.
There was always doubt over Contador's explanation, despite several prominent experts saying that contaminated food could contain clenbuterol, as in 2008 and 2009, only one animal sample came back positive for clenbuterol out of 83,203 animal samples tested by EU member nations. Out of 19,431 animal tests in Spain over the same period, there were no samples that came back positive for clenbuterol, according to The Guardian.