Spanish Olympic Committee president wants maximum ban if Contador found guilty
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Spanish Olympic Committee president wants maximum ban if Contador found guilty

by Shane Stokes at 7:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Insists Spain is not complacent

Alberto ContadorSeeking perhaps to tackle the perception that Spain is soft on doping, the country’s Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco has said that those who are found guilty of using banned substances should face tough penalties.

Blanco was referring to the Tour de France winner, who tested positive for Clenbuterol during this year’s race, and those track athletes involved in the Operación Galgo investigation.

“In the case of Contador and any other athletes — maximum sanction when we know [that they are guilty],” he told the Associated Press. “When it's proven an athlete has doped, there is no debate — authorities need to act."

Contador is claiming that his positive test is as a result of eating contaminated meat. This has been studied by WADA and the UCI prior to sending the documentation to the Spanish cycling federation RFEC to sanction the rider. WADA reportedly carried out tests and analyses which cast doubts on the defence offered, while Contador’s legal team have spent time building their side of the argument.

It is uncertain how the competition committee of the RFEC will rule, and if Blanco’s call for a maximum sanction would apply if the Spanish cycling federation decides to accept the lesser contamination argument.

UCI president Pat McQuaid has stated numerous times recently that he wants bans for serious doping offences increased from a standard two years to four. However if the RFEC rules that Contador didn’t deliberately take a doping substance, a lesser sanction would be certain.

WADA and the UCI have said that if they don’t agree with whatever decision the RFEC makes, they will appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In addition to the ‘maximum penalty’ he advocated, Blanco suggested that athletes who received state grants should have to pay back that money if they subsequently tested positive. He rejected any suggestions that his country doesn’t act properly. “Nobody fights against doping more than Spain does,” he insisted. “There is not a single doubt over the ability of our disciplinary committees in any Spanish federation. They respect the rules in that sense, so people can rest assured.”

McQuaid said recently that no ruling on the Contador case would come before the New Year. The Spanish rider is training for the new season and recently spent time with his Saxo Bank-SunGard team-mates at their training camp in Fuerteventura.


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