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Contador Fights 1-Yr Suspension – Tested Positive Four Times at 2010 TdF

by John Symon

February 8, 2011 (Madrid, Spain) – Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) has submitted a final defence to the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) in an attempt to overturn his one-year ban for a failed doping test during the 2010 Tour de France that he won reports Road Cycling UK. In some 35 additional pages of documents submitted to the RFEC, Contador insists that his positive test for clenbuterol was the result of involuntary ingestion of beef contaminated with the substance and that he showed, “no significant fault or negligence.”

The Spanish cyclist bases much of his case on the jurisprudence established when French tennis player Richard Gasquet claimed his failed test for cocaine resulted from kissing a woman who had taken the banned drug. It has also now been revealed that Contador tested positive four times for trace amounts of clenbuterol at the 2010 tour, but the RFEC seems to be counting the four failed tests as one incident.

Is the RFEC already showing favouritism to its top cyclist? Normally, cyclists can expect a two-year ban from the sport for such an infraction reports The Telegraph. A two-year ban requires the return of 70 percent of a rider’s salary – estimated for Contador at $43 million Canadian – while a one-year ban carries no such stipulation. So a shorter ban could save Contador some $30 million.

As reported previously, the one-year ban would prevent Contador from competing at the 2011 TdF and would presumably confer the 2010 yellow jersey to second place finisher Andy Schleck (Team Leopard-Trek) of Luxemburg. Whatever final decision the RFEC makes on the Contador case, it can still be appealed to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Read the Road Cycling UK story here.
Read the Telegraph story here.

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