Contador suspended after positive test

Thu, 30 Sep 07:24:00 2010

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a "very small concentration" of a banned anabolic agent during the race, the International Cycling Union said.

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The Spaniard, who won his third Tour this year, was tested during the second rest day of the race and the second B test had confirmed the presence of clenbuterol, the UCI said in a statement.

"The rider, who had already put an end to his cycling season before the result was known, was nevertheless formally and provisionally suspended as is prescribed by the World Anti-Doping Code," the statement said.

Contador, who is leaving Astana to join Bjarne Riis's Saxo Bank team next season, blamed food contamination for the finding.

"It's possible to put your hand in the fire and not burn yourself. If it had been a clear case of doping it would have come out a week later. The food poisoning came from a cut of meat from Spain," Contador told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.

"It is Riis Cycling's hope that this case can be resolved in a orderly and timely fashion as it is in the best interests of all parties involved that the proper conclusions are drawn within a reasonable period of time," Saxo Bank said in a statement.

"The team has had and will continue to have the position that cheating of any form will not be tolerated."

Clenbuterol can be abused by athletes to strip fat and enhance muscle size and can have short-term stimulant effects including increasing aerobic capacity, blood pressure and alertness. It has led to bans for cyclists in the past.

The concentration in Contador's A test was "400 time(s) less than what the antidoping laboratories accredited by (World Anti-Doping Agency) WADA must be able to detect," the UCI said in a statement.

"In view of this very small concentration and in consultation with WADA, the UCI immediately had the proper results management proceedings conducted including the analysis of B sample that confirmed the first result."

The case would require "further scientific investigation" before any conclusion could be drawn and could take some time, the statement added, providing no further comment.

The finding puts 27-year-old Contador's Tour de France victory with Kazakh-funded Astana in July under a cloud and threatens to leave an indelible stain on the Spaniard, who also won the 2007 and 2009 Tours and is regarded one of the greatest cyclists of the modern era.

Contador's personal press attache Jacinto Vidarte said food contamination was "the origin of the case".

"From the moment he was first informed by the UCI on Aug. 24, Alberto Contador indicated that a contamination of food was the only possible explanation for what happened," his agent said in a statement.

"Since then, he has placed himself in the hands of the cycling authorities with the confidence that this extremely serious problem that has now come to light can be resolved.

"Experts consulted have also signalled that food contamination was the origin of the case, above all taking into account the quantity of (doping) tests Alberto Contador took during the Tour de France.

"(This) enabled the exact moment of the appearance of the substance to be determined as well as the very small amount detected, which rules out any other origin or intent."

The Contador finding is another blow for elite cycling, which has struggled to shake off its image as a sport riddled with drug cheats, and threatens to cast a pall over the World Championships in Australia's port city of Geelong this week.

The Spanish team at the world championships, where the men's time trial world title was being decided on Thursday, declined to comment.

"There is nothing to say about it at this stage," a spokesman said at the team's box in a marquee pitched under overcast skies.


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  1. In my view, Andy Schleck ate the same piece of­ contaminated meat. He has just been a bit more lucky­ than Contador.

    From veksleri, on Fri 1 Oct 10:04AM
  2. Has his chemist been sacked yet he is sloppy.

    From Ian, on Fri 1 Oct 6:58AM
  3. Maxx, Maxx, maxx...PLEASE! You would be typing with­ one hand below your desk if this story was about LA,­ and YOU KNOW IT! You turn every article on this­ cycling forum into some kind of anti-Armstrong or­ anti-Bruyneel spin. You really have no credibility­ with your weak defense of Contador. Personally, I­ think he may be innocent, but hearing you say it has­ ZERO credibility. Your zealousness to convict­ Armstrong makes your opinion meaningless.

    And...I­ already knew you'd come out in Contador's­ I said, some of you guys on this forum­ are sooooooooooo predictable.

    (Waiting for the­ reply in which I'm accused of being a­ Lancie-groupie-fanboy in 3...2...1...)

    From Charles, on Thu 30 Sep 10:48PM
  4. Drug cheats don't prosper is the old saying i found­ written in an old book ages ago

    From Samson Johnson, on Thu 30 Sep 10:00PM
  5. Don't agree with either Charles or MIke G. This is­ the equivalent of having a girl kiss you with a drop of­ beer in her mouth and the Norwegian cops pulling you­ over the next day. the difference between this and­ Landis, is that the amount Landis used would have doped­ about 4000 Contadors for this case. that's why even­ a die-hard like Lemond is saying something is wrong­ with the case. This is dirty lab equipment from a­ clenbuterol experiment down the hall not getting­ properly cleaned before it was used to test­ cyclists' samples. Which is about as unlikely as­ dirty instruments in a hospital (wait! that happens all­ the time!)

    From Maxx92, on Thu 30 Sep 9:32PM
  6. spongebob: you have not tested positive for being an­ @#$% I don't think. Some tests are just not­ required.

    Charles, I am with you on this one

    From pete, on Thu 30 Sep 9:07PM
  7. Kiddy
    not in Norway where there is a zero tolerance to­ alchohol as there is a zero tolerance to Clenbuterol.­ The test is only ''required'' to detect­ 400 times more than he had. 400 times more than he had­ is not any kind of limit. Zero is the limit. That the­ test can detect the BANNED substance at such a diluted­ level is purely coincidence. I would guess that the­ detection requirements where set when Clenbuterol­ became known as a performance enhancer around 25 years­ ago. Detection methods get better.
    If I was in charge­ of the doping detection program I doubt I would make it­ common knowledge just how small an amount of a banned­ substance could be detected. If you know it could only­ detect a gram you'd just take half a gram no?
    ­ Anyway isn't it usually the fish that crocs TDF­ riders :-)

    From Mike G, on Thu 30 Sep 9:01PM
  8. Well said no. 96 (Mike G). The evidence is that AC­ has tested positive for both his A and B samples. ­ Although very small doses have been detected the UCI­ has banned riders for anomolies in their biological­ passports i.e. no positive test, then how/why should AC­ be treated differently? Riders have a responsibility­ to ensure they do not ingest anything that might­ contravene the rules of cycling, so regardless of­ whether this was a result of cheating or an innocent­ mistake the results are the same. I say AC will get a­ short-term ban, as per Petacchi for so-called­ accidental doping offences and be back in time for the­ 2011 tdf!

    From warren.blane, on Thu 30 Sep 8:45PM
  9. "Caught is caught",?

    Well he's not been­ "caught" as the level found was below the­ limit. It's akin to having a pint & driving­ home. You may very well have alcohol in your system but­ if it's below the legal limit then there's nowt­ the authorities can do about it.

    From Kiddy, on Thu 30 Sep 8:39PM
  10. Who cares if he actually ingested it on purpose. Caught­ is caught, plain and simple. Just look at Ivan Basso;­ he only thought about dopiing and was suspended for two­ years. Never failed a test or returned an­ "adverse" result. Just cause he won the tour­ doesn't make him any better then his peers.

    From John Jr., on Thu 30 Sep 8:05PM
  11. let'em do what ever they want, crank, coke, meth,­ who cares, they all cheat to some extent, just some get­ caught

    From Brad, on Thu 30 Sep 8:04PM
  12. Hey everybody calm down. It's ok cos I just read on­ another site that it was from contaminated meat bought­ in Spain
    "The organiser of the Vuelta a Castilla­ y León, José Luis López-Cerrón, planned to come to the­ Tour and asked our team cook if he wanted him to bring­ anything. Our cook asked him to get some good meat,­ which he did. So when this person came to the Tour on­ 20 July, he brought some meat, which he had bought in­ Spain."
    Hmmm okaaay.
    ''Clenbuterol has­ been found in Spanish meat in the past, with two­ episodes in 1990 and 1994 in which 275 people were­ found to have ingested the substance.''
    Aha no­ problem then, just go to the shop where it was bought,­ test all the meat, test some other customers, proove­ the meat is contaminated. Issue a health warning, close­ down the shop, quarentine the farms in the area, carry­ out extensive test on all beef production in the­ region, prosecute the people responsible for­ contaminating the food chain & provide compensation­ for all the other people ( who don't happen to be­ world class athletes ).
    No problem. Innocent :-)

    ­ But something tells me there is going to be a few­ problems with this & it is unlikely to happen.

    ­ I'm just sayin!

    From Mike G, on Thu 30 Sep 7:12PM
  13. Clenbuterol is not a steroid and has no anabolic­ function

    Clenbuterol is what they take when the harder­ stuff is leaving their system

    He just didnt stop the­ clenbuterol early enough before a possible test.

    Every­ sports person competing at a high level takes­ something.

    We only know about the ones who get caught.­ ..fact

    From alecmorris2008, on Thu 30 Sep 7:01PM
  14. This article has a mis statement, it is 40 times the­ limit not 400. They must have started to slant the­ truth out of Spain already.

    From chad, on Thu 30 Sep 6:38PM
  15. "The concentration in Contador's A test was­ "400 time(s) less than what the antidoping­ laboratories accredited by (World Anti-Doping Agency)­ WADA must be able to detect," the UCI said in a­ statement."

    So the riders test was 400x less than­ the minimum detectable standard. Where then, is the­ lowest detectable level for a positive­ test?

    Considering AC was informed of the anomally in­ his test a over month ago. Why has it only reached the­ public domain in the week of the WC's?

    The­ athletes claim, that it was something ingested in a­ meal, is plausable, seeing that no other test he gave­ returned anything of any significance.

    It appears then­ that this involves a curious amount of mud slinging­ from somewhere within the cycling community with a­ grudge.

    From Kiddy, on Thu 30 Sep 6:14PM
  16. Clenbuterol can be abused by athletes to strip fat and­ enhance muscle size and can have short-term stimulant­ effects including increasing aerobic capacity, blood­ pressure and alertness. That explains plenty.
    Facts are­ facts. A positive test is a positive test.

    From Sri Ganesh, on Thu 30 Sep 5:55PM
  17. Another black eye for the TDF.

    From SideFX, on Thu 30 Sep 4:16PM
  18. He looks like Gareth Bale

    From HELEN, on Thu 30 Sep 3:47PM
  19. I somewhat agree with #79. I'm certainly NOT­ Contador's fan, in fact if anyone else won the TdF­ 2010 it would be fine with me (I don't like­ domination of one side in any sport) but it was clear­ to me long before the competition that he would win (I­ even bet big money), it was clear he is the best in the­ world BY A MILE. So it is hard to believe he would need­ that stuff, if it was me I'd say: "What! You­ think I should take drugs?! F**k that, I'm the best­ I don't need that!!" For all we know, someone­ in the lab could fake the results (I'm not accusing­ its an example)

    From mare994, on Thu 30 Sep 3:44PM
  20. Contador positive = MUST BE A MISTAKE!!!

    IF Armstrong­ tested positive = CHEATER! I KNEW IT ALL ALONG! ­ HAHA, FINALLY!

    You people are so predictable. Yawn.

    From Charles, on Thu 30 Sep 3:33PM
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