January 29, 2011 | In: Articles

Contador announces appeal

Alberto Contador has announced that he will appeal against a provisional one-year doping ban, vowing he will fight to clear his name.

The Spaniard won the Tour de France for the third time in 2010 but tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol on the second rest day.

Contador has claimed from the very beginning that traces of the drug came from consuming contaminated meat, but the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) on Wednesday handed out a one-year suspension despite accepting that defence.

And while the International Cycling Federation – who commissioned the RFEC to open disciplinary proceedings – has yet to ratify the ban, they have the power to strip the rider of the Tour de France title if the suspension is upheld.

“You have to remember this is just a proposal and I will work as hard as I can to change it,” said an emotional Contador in Mallorca, where he is training with his Saxo Bank team.

“But if that does not happen I’ll appeal wherever I need to to defend my innocence to the last.

“I am an example for many people. I have never doped myself, never. I can say loud and clear, with my head held high. I consider myself as an example of a clean sportsman.

“I find it, therefore, very difficult to handle the things that are said about me.

“The only mistake I have made is to have a piece of meat that I had not analysed before to check if it had clenbuterol.”

Contador, who called the entire disciplinary process ‘shameful’, has until February 9 to present further evidence in his defence before a final decision is rendered.

He said he no longer trusted the anti-doping system, one which he had complied with throughout his career.

“I have given everything to this sport, it’s my life and I have given so much to it,” he added. “I have had 500 anti-doping controls in my career, many of which were surprise controls.

“I have had to leave birthday parties, get out of a cinema midway through a film, leave family and friends in restaurants to do those controls and all because I believed in the anti-doping system. But now I don’t.”

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