Alberto Contador calls for zero tolerance to doping in cycling
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Alberto Contador calls for zero tolerance to doping in cycling

by Ben Atkins at 4:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Still regards 2010 Tour disqualification as an “injustice”; may not ride 2013 race if team is not in WorldTour

alberto contadorAlberto Contador has called for zero tolerance to doping in cycling, as he spoke to French television from the Team Saxo-Tinkoff training camp, according to Cyclism’Actu. The 2012 Vuelta a España winner served a - mostly backdated - two-year suspension after testing positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France, and only returned to racing in August of this year.

Despite his own sanction however, Contador told France 2’s magazine programme Stage 2 that he wanted dopers out of the sport.

“For cycling, it should be zero tolerance,” he said. “I express myself less than certain others, but it is clear that there is no place for cheaters.”

As well as his suspension, Contador was stripped of all results that followed his positive test, including that 2010 Tour, and the 2011 Giro d’Italia. His case took a total of 18-months before it was finally settled by the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Februay this year but - unsurprisingly, since he proclaimed his innocence all through the process - still proclaims his innocence.

“I worked according to the regulations and they said that the victory is not mine, it’s an injustice,” he said of his 2010 Tour disqualification.

Contador was recently criticised in the media for apparently coming to the defence of former teammate and adversary Lance Armstrong, after the Texan was stripped of his Tour titles and banned from the sport for life. The Spanish rider - who reportedly fought tooth and nail with Armstrong and his entourage despite both riding for the Astana team during the 2009 Tour de France - was quoted as saying that Armstrong was being “humiliated and lynched”, but now says that this was not actually what he meant.

"My words were misinterpreted,” he said. “I was just being a bit ironic when I said he would be missed. If Armstrong is judged, and is considered guilty, then he should be punished."

Team Saxo-Tinkoff currently sits in an uncertain position over its 2013 season, since it has not yet been confirmed as part of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour. On his return from suspension, Contador won the Vuelta a España, as well as Milano-Torino, and he finished fourth in the Eneco Tour; according to UCI regulations however, his points cannot be counted towards the team’s ‘sporting criterion’, and Saxo-Tinkoff barely scraped eligibility in 20th place.

Current rumours have the Danish team going up against currently Professional Continental team Argos-Shimano for the final place. Should Contador’s team not make it into the top flight, he would not be certain of a place at the Tour next year, which is not something he is very impressed with.

“I would love to do the Tour obviously,” he said. “I already missed it this year. But if I only find out [that Saxo-Tinkoff] is invited two months before, then I won’t.

“I need enough time to prepare,” he added. “If this doesn’t happen then I won’t be at the start.”


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