Cyclist Contador Receives Two Years of Sanctions (Beginning Retroactively) and Stripped of 2010 Tour de France for Doping

Contador arriving at the Court for the Arbitration of Sport this month. Photo by Ruben Sprich of Reuters.

Cyclist Contador Receives Two Years of Sanctions (Beginning Retroactively) and Stripped of 2010 Tour de France for Doping
El País: Dos años de sanción para Contador
Carlos Arribas reporting from Madrid Febuary 6, 2012

Soon before noon, the secretary of the Court for the Arbitration of Sport (CAS) notified Alberto Contador that his positive test for clembuterol during the 2010 Tour de France had been considered the result of pure doping, and thus he would be punished by International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations with two years of suspension, the loss of his 2010 Tour title (the third of his victories in the grande boucle) and the second of his Giros de Italia (the one from 2011). In a separate sentence about a UCI petition, he was assessed an economic sanction of at least €2,485,000 payable to that organization.

The plaintiff had also solicited that the cyclist from Pinto (a Madrid suburb) be stripped of all his 2011 titles, including those in the Giro de Italia and the Volta a Catalunya (the second and third most important tours). This was also conceded; hence the cyclist has lost these laurels as well. The crown for the Italian race falls to Michele Scarponi, who had previously completed a sanction for his implication in Operación Puerto (Operation Mountain Pass).

This was the last stage of a process that began September 30, 2010, when the positive test was made public; the first disciplinary episode was in February 2011, exactly a year ago, when the competition committee for the Spanish Cycling Federation sided with Contador, who has always denied doping and said in his defense that the clembuterol must have come from a sirloin steak he ate July 20, the Tour’s rest day and the day he was tested.

Neither UCI or the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) were in agreement with the Spanish decision, and they turned to the CAS, who after a trial held November 21-24 finally sentenced in their favor. Taking the retroactive start date for the sanction as August 24, 2010, when Contador’s provisional sanction began, the 29-year old cyclist will be permitted to compete again this August 5, which means he cannot participate in this year’s Giro or Tour, but he can race in the Vuelta a España, which begins August 18. Andy Schleck, second place in the 2010 Tour, has been retroactively declared the winner.

The first sporting director to react to the news of the sanction was Pat McQuaid. The UCI president declared that regardless of what might be thought of his organization, one of those which chose to carry on the suit in spite of the Spanish federation’s absolution, he was not happy about the decision against the Pinto rider. “This is a sad day for our sport,” McQuaid said in his statement. “Some may think of it as a victory, but that is not at all the case. There are no winners when it comes to the issue of doping: every case, irrespective of its characteristics, is always a case too many.”

For more information, see ESPN’s report.

Explore posts in the same categories: Law, Spain, Sports

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