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.