Contador: Any amount of Clenbuterol is doping, says WADA
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Contador: Any amount of Clenbuterol is doping, says WADA

by Samuel Morrison at 6:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
'This is just the dopers adjusting or mis-adjusting to the testing'

Alberto Contador's lawyers will need to re-think their Tour de France doping defence. A WADA official reminded them that an athlete with any amount of the drug Clenbuterol is considered positive.

"Just because it's small doesn't mean it's not doping," WADA's Christiane Ayotte told the New York Times. "This is just the dopers adjusting or mis-adjusting to the testing."

Ayotte runs the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lab outside of Montreal. She commented on the recent cases of athletes testing positive for small amounts of Clenbuterol. The drug helps breathing and weight loss.

Recent cases:

- China's Fuyu Li: 50-100 picograms on March 23
- Italy's Alessandro Colò: 200 picograms on April 25
- Spain's Alberto Contador: 50 picograms on July 21
- Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov: 75 picograms on September 22

Cyclists Li and Colò both received suspensions from their federations. Germany acquitted table tennis player Ovtcharov, but WADA has since appealed the decision. All of the athletes argued that the Clenbuterol came from eating contaminated beef.

Contador's lawyer Andy Ramos is arguing the same and using the case of French tennis player, Richard Gasquet. Gasquet's lawyers proved with hair tests that his cocaine positive was a result of kissing a girl who had used cocaine.

The WADA lists Clenbuterol as a banned substance regardless of how it was ingested. Contador maintains his innocence and claims that the beef that his Astana team bought in Irún, Spain, caused the positive result.

"The levels are ridiculous," said Ramos on Tuesday, "it couldn't be anything else."

Contador's urine showed 50 picograms per millilitre of Clenbuterol, equal to 0.000 000 000 05 grams per ml. The International Cycling Union (UCI) revealed the test results only after Contador won his third Tour de France on July 25.

European Union has banned farmers from using Clenbuterol since 1996. It controlled 83,203 animals between 2008 and 2009 and one sample showed contamination – it was not from Spain.

A disciplinary committee of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) is reviewing Contador's case now and a decision expected by February. Both the WADA and the UCI said they will appeal if the RFEC acquits Contador of doping.

Contador risks losing his Tour de France title and faces a possible two-year ban.


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