Alberto Contador won’t retire from cycling over sanction
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Alberto Contador won’t retire from cycling over sanction

by Shane Stokes at 6:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Rider plans to appeal whatever sanction is handed to him

Alberto ContadorAlthough he originally said that he would retire from the sport if he was sanctioned for his Clenbuterol positive at the Tour de France, Alberto Contador is now thought certain to go back on that threat and to continue after the completion of his sanction.

The 28 year old is due to give a press conference later today at the Saxo Bank-SunGard training camp and is expected to discuss his plans. According to Spanish newspaper El Diario Montanes, he spoke to his team-mates on Wednesday night, telling them about the likely one year suspension and saying that he would not retire from the sport.

He also told them that he drew comfort from the fact that the Spanish federation RFEC appeared to accept his explanation that the positive test was due to the consumption of tainted meat rather than anything more sinister.

In addition to that, by being given a sanction less than the standard two year ban, he appears to escape a very considerable financial penalty. He would otherwise be liable to pay 70% of his annual salary, three million euro, to the UCI.

The governing body issued a statement yesterday saying that the one year ban quoted this week was not the definite final sanction from the RFEC. Contador has ten days to consider the ‘proposed’ sanction and present his arguments; a definitive sanction will be made then.

According to the same newspaper, his legal team will push to make July 25th the date for the start of the sanction. This is the date he last competed, while he was notified of the positive case on August 24th. Most sanctions tend to start when the sportsperson has been notified, so it remains to be seen if he will be able to push for this revised start date.

The significance of the earlier date is that it would permit him to still make the August 20th start of the Vuelta a España.

According to his spokesman Jacinto Vidarte, he will do what he can to fight on. “First we will wait for the final resolution confirming the suspension of the Spanish federation,” he told the Spanish newspaper AS. “Then, we will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS], or whichever of the institutions we deem are needed."

Meanwhile the RFEC president Juan Carlos Castano has warned the rider that appealing the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport could rebound and lead to a longer ban.

“If Contador appeals to CAS I see it as very difficult that the case won't become more complicated, including even making it worse,” he stated in an interview with Spanish television today.


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