Eddy Merckx: “I think people want to kill off cycling”
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Monday, February 6, 2012

Eddy Merckx: “I think people want to kill off cycling”

by Ben Atkins at 8:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Belgian legend reacts to CAS verdict in Alberto Contador case

eddy merckxEddy Merckx has spoken about his disappointment about the fact that the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has ruled that Alberto Contador should be suspended for two years. The Belgian legend, who won more than any other rider in the sport, was at the Tour of Qatar, where he is a part of the race organisation.

“It’s a sad day for Alberto Contador; it's a sad day for cycling,” he told the Eurosport cameras. “I think people want to kill off cycling.”

Merckx, who himself tested positive in controversial circumstances in his career, feels that the trace amount of Clenbuterol found in Contador’s urine – 50 picogrammes per litre, a far lower level than most anti-doping labs are able to detect – means that he should have been acquitted.

“I think we’re going too far,” he said. “The level of the control was incredibly low, and it’s only in cycling that this kind of thing can happen...

“It’s a terrible thing,” he added. “Alberto Contador’s won a lot of competitions, not just the Tour de France; the Giro d’Italia, we’ve seen the way he rode the Giro last year, he doesn’t deserve this.”

While Merckx acknowledged that it was necessary to try to catch the cheats in sport, he maintained that cycling paid a far higher price than most other sports.

“I’m the first to say that we need good anti-doping tests,” he said, “but I think that in cycling they go too far.”


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