Team Saxo Bank, the team for whom Alberto Contador should be riding this season, released a press release late on the evening of 26 January. It details their response to Contador’s upcoming ban for testing positive for a banned substance, Clenbuterol, on the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France. The press release begins:
Tonight Riis Cycling, while at training camp at Mallorca, received the news that the Competition Committee of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) will recommend a ban of one year for Alberto Contador.
It therefore effectively confirms the Spanish newspaper reports today that this is what RFEC would be recommending.
Although detected only in tiny quantities, Clenbuterol, which promotes lean muscle, is a completely banned substance: there is no legal minimum threshold.
Contador has claimed that he ate tainted meat (Clenbuterol is similarly banned in meat production, though some unscrupulous farmers do use it). However, even if he can prove this contamination, by the letter of the law the doping authorities cannot eliminate, only reduce, the ban.
Although there has been no official public confirmation from RFEC, and therefore no UCI response (and we should remember that both WADA and the UCI have threatened to challenge the judgement if they deem it too lenient), it seems increasingly inevitable that Contador will be stripped of his 2010 Tour de France win.
Contador will have 10 days to appeal the judgement before RFEC issues a final ruling on 9 February. Riis Cycling, which runs Saxo Bank, has called a press conference for this Friday at 16:00 CET at which Contador will be present.
Click below to read the full press release.
Press release on Alberto Contador situation
[26.01 22:48] Tonight Riis Cycling, while at training camp at Mallorca, received the news that the Competition Committee of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) will recommend a ban of one year for Alberto Contador.
During the 2010 Tour de France Alberto Contador, while riding for Astana, returned an adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol following the analysis of urine samples taken on July 21st, the second rest day of the Tour de France.
Based on the evidence in the case and theexplanation offered by Alberto Contador about unintentional ingestion of the forbidden substance, The Spanish Federation has decided to recommend a reduced ban of one year.
However Alberto Contador now has ten days to answer the recommendation by RFEC before a final ruling is issued.
But since RFEC has announced this recommendation publicly, Riis Cycling has chosen to address this matter at a press conference on Friday the 28th of January at 16.00 at Gran Hotel Son Net on Mallorca.
On this press conference Bjarne Riis will be present as well as Alberto Contador.