Rider reaction: Cancellara, Millar and Porte say Contador’s Clenbuterol news came too soon
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rider reaction: Cancellara, Millar and Porte say Contador’s Clenbuterol news came too soon

by Conal Andrews at 6:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Reserve judgment, but Millar vouches for Tour winner

Fabian CancellaraThe new world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, runner-up David Millar and fourth-placed Richie Porte have commented on Alberto Contador’s positive test for Clenbuterol, saying that the news should not have been released before full details were known.

The Spaniard’s press agent announced several hours ago that a urine sample taken on the second rest day showed minute traces of the substance, which is banned by WADA.

The UCI has confirmed the news, saying that the rider is provisionally suspended. It pointed out that the level concerned was 400 times less than the minimum detection level required by WADA and, because of that, a full study will be done before any conclusion is reached.

Cancellara said that it was too soon to make a judgement. “In the end I had to focus on my own [race], not what's going on in Europe,” said Cancellara in the press conference held after his winning ride. “I don't want to say (anything) now, we have until 12 o'clock in Europe (to see) what is really going on because there's a press conference.

“First of all we have to respect the rules. The rules are we have to wait until the B sample has gone over and then people can talk and discussion can go on. The rules have to be respected. I am the first one to respect this and I hope also the whole world will respect that."

“What he has or what was it in the end, I don't look, I'm looking here, I want to focus and also enjoy what I've done today. The rest really is only polemic and big rumours.”

David Millar, who previously admitted using EPO, served a two year suspension and is now regarded as an advocate of clean sport, said that he has put his trust in Contador. Calling him a “fantastic athlete and a great human being,” he said that the news was released too soon.

“I think there's a very strong chance that this is being blown way out of proportion,” he said. “It makes no sense because it was a rest-day control and it was a micro-dose of a steroid or stimulant like salbutamol or something. Alberto gets controlled every day when he is in the yellow jersey, and that would have come up the day before, after the race.

“I would 100 percent give Alberto the benefit of the doubt. You have to understand that these things can be quite complicated, and it is a shame it is out there when it could be something completely innocent. Let’s wait and see.”

Millar said that it would have been better if this was fully investigated before being made public. "It's a shame that it's been released when it hasn't been resolved. I think it's something that should be resolved behind closed doors and done the way it should be done properly."

“There are strict rules and I think unfortunately in cycling for the right reasons we always jump to the worst-case scenario…because of the history we have in the sport unfortunately maybe Alberto's just maybe been kind of thrown to the sharks.”

“I think it will get resolved…I hope so, for Alberto's benefit and I hope so for the sport's benefit.”

Richie Porte, who finished fourth today, also felt the same way about the release of the news. “I heard that [the results of the test] and I also heard that it is inconclusive at the moment,” the Australian said. “So it shouldn’t be out there in the media, I guess.”

Contador has said that the positive test was as a result of ingesting contaminated meat. Clenbuterol has been used in the past by farmers wishing to illegally bulk up cattle, but also has a history of being abused by athletes. Final conclusions will be made after an investigation, which the UCI concedes will take ‘some time.’


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