Alberto Contador Found Guilty Of Doping, May Appeal 2-Year Ban

2010's Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has been stripped of his title and suspended for one year following a positive test for the banned substance Clenbuterol.

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Alberto Contador May Appeal Two-Year Doping Ban

A day after sport's highest court handed down a two-year, retroactive ban of Alberto Contador for his positive drug test during the 2010 Tour de France that he eventually won, the cyclist reiterated his declaration of innocence and said he may appeal the ban. Cantador also said that he has shelved any plans to retire.

As it stands now, the only way Cantador could get his third Tour de France and last season's Giro de Italia titles restored is for him to take his appeal to Switzerland's supreme court -- the only one above Court of Arbitration for Sport, which handed down Monday's ruling. Cantador has maintained his innocence throughout the process, claiming that he only had a small amount of a muscle-building steroid in his system and that he contracted it from a contaminated piece of meat (via the Associated Press).

"Something doesn't work with the system,'' Contador said at a crowded news conference in his native Pinto, on the outskirts of Madrid. "My lawyers and I will fight as far as we need to demonstrate my innocence."

Assuming the band is upheld, Cantador would be reinstated in time for August's Vuelta a Espana. Although Saxo Bank-SunGuard team boss Bjarne Riis said Cantador won't be paid during his ban, he did indicate that the racer would be welcomed back once the ban is over.

As cycling blog Podium Cafe pointed out, though, his return may not be that simple:

Next up? The UCI is studying the status of the Saxo Bank Pro Tour license in light of the arbitration court's decision. Contador loses the points he earned between the 2010 Tour and the arbitration court decision this week. Saxo Bank could also lose those points, which would mean an end to their Pro Tour status.

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Alberto Contador Found Guilty Of Doping, Stripped Of Tour de France Title

Alberto Contador was originally cleared of doping allegations in February 2011 following his win at the 2010 Tour de France, but an appeals court changed that ruling on Monday morning. The new findings mean that runner-up Andy Schleck will be known as the 2010 Tour de France champion.

Contador was banned for two years following the decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to a report in the New York Times. Considering Contador quit racing for a time in between the original suspension and last February's findings that he didn't cheat, however, the suspension is scheduled to end on Aug. 5, 2012.

According to the Times, the Swiss court's investigation revealed even more than what was originally being searched for when they began their attempt to re-overturn the original decision.

On the last rest day of the 2010 Tour, Contador tested positive for clenbuterol, a weight-loss and muscle-building drug that some riders illicitly use during the off-season to improve their performance on big climbs in the mountains. Contador said it came from tainted steaks that a friend had delivered from Spain to France.

He also tested positive for a category of chemicals known as plasticizers, which are found in some IV bags used to store blood. While it was not part of the current investigation, the presence of plasticizers suggested that Contador also engaged in blood doping.

This may not be over yet, however, as the Times reports that the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency have both appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

For more on Contador and all things cycling, head on over to SB Nation's own Podium Cafe.

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Alberto Contador Cleared Of Doping, Will Keep Tour De France Title

In January, Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France win after a positive test for clenbuterol. On Tuesday, however, it has been announced that the 28-year-old Spaniard has been cleared of doping charges and will retain his title. From the Associated Press:

Contador will retain his third Tour title and can participate in this year’s race, but the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ruling came three weeks after the Spanish federation recommended a reduced one-year suspension rather than the standard two-year penalty. Contador’s team then pushed for him to be cleared and face no punishment

Contador had claimed that a meal containing contaminated meat was to blame for his positive test. Our cycling blog, Podium Cafe, offers a look at what's next for all parties involved:

The UCI has one month to appeal to the sports arbitration court in Switzerland. So far, the organization has not commented on the Spanish decision. Though the UCI has previously said it would appeal a non-sanction, it remains to be seen if they actually follow through.

[...] According to the rules, Contador should still lose the 2010 Tour de France title, because he tested positive during the race. The rules dictate the loss of results even in cases where the athlete is ruled to have ingested the banned substance unintentionally. No confirmation that the rule will be applied in this case has yet emerged.

For more on Contador and all things cycling, head on over to SB Nation's own Podium Cafe.

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Alberto Contador Stripped Of 2010 Tour de France Title, Suspended One Year

Back in September, three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador tested positive for a banned substance. On Wednesday, the Spanish cyclist received his punishment. Contador was handed a one-year ban from cycling and he's been stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title. He has 10 days to appeal. 

If the ruling is upheld, Contador will be just the second Tour champion to be stripped of his title, joining American Floyd Landis, who lost his 2006 title for doping. And it would mean the 2010 winner would then be Andy Schleck, who finished second.

Contador's positive test in September was for Clenbuterol, "a stimulant used to treat allergies and asthma, and is also used as a weight loss supplement." 

Contador has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he "unknowingly ingested the clenbuterol from beef brought from Spain to France during the second rest day of the Tour." It is considered an anabolic agent by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Upon learning the verdict, Contador issued a (very) brief statement, announcing he will hold a press conference on Jan. 28 team Saxo Bank director Bjarne Riis "to express their opinion about this case."

SB Nation's excellent cycling blog, Podium Cafe, is asking aloud if the ruling is fair, and so far half of the voters say no -- Contador should have received a two year ban.

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