August 10, 2007 (Madrid, Spain) – Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel), this year’s Tour de France winner, claimed that he has “never doped” at a press conference today in the Spanish capital according to AFP. Contador read a prepared statement in the company of Discovery Channel Sports Director, Johan Bruyneel and Spanish Sports Minister, Jaime Lissavetzky. Contador declared that legal action was being contemplated against his detractors. No questions from journalists were permitted after the statement was read.
“I HAVE NEVER COMITTED AN ACT OF DOPING, I HAVE NEVER PARTICIPATED IN A ACT OF DOPING and those who know me know what I think about it. My compromise against doping is absolute and you would always find me willing to collaborate; that’s why I have met, in every moment, the normative in bicycling; that’s why, trimester after trimester and year after year I send the U.C.I the questionnaires of location for being controlled at any moment that this sport’s authorities consider is necessary; that’s why I have passed surprise and programmed exams, in my own house and in competitions, during seasons of rest, blood and urine tests, which logically are way more that what any other participant of the race has to take,” reads an excerpt from Contador’s statement.
Contador was reacting to allegations by German anti-doping expert, Werner Franke, who links the Spanish rider to the Puerto doping scandal. Franke accuses Contador of doping with testosterone. Contador is also accused of taking asthma medications according to the South African-based Information on Line. Some documents seized in the Puerto Affair make reference to an athlete identified as “A.C.” On Wednesday, organizers of Hamburg’s Cyclassics, scheduled for August 19, indicated that Contador was not welcome there because of these allegations. Contador has voluntarily withdrawn from next month’s Tour of Spain.
Contador was initially charged with doping, together with four other members of the Astana team in connection with the Puerto Affair, but charges were dropped when Spanish judge Antonio Serrano dismissed the case in July, 2006.
Meanwhile, Johan Bruyneel has announced that he will retire from cycling at the end of this season according to Eurosport. Bruyneel is Sports Director for the Discovery Channel team which announced yesterday that it will also cease operations at the end of the 2007 season.