Hushovd unhappy with delays in Contador doping hearing
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Hushovd unhappy with delays in Contador doping hearing

by VeloNation Press at 2:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Can’t understand why no decision before Tour de France

Thor HushovdWorld champion Thor Hushovd has spoken of his frustration with the Alberto Contador case, saying that he finds it perplexing that it is taking so long to reach a final decision on the matter.

The Spaniard tested positive for Clenbuterol during last year’s Tour. Despite the fact that almost a year has passed, the Court of Arbitration for Sport recently announced that more time is needed after Contador’s lawyers requested an extension. This was agreed by the appellants, WADA and the UCI, and the hearing will now take place between August 1st and 3rd.

“Obviously it's frustrating. Especially in the sense that no one - including us cyclists as well - can understand anything,” Hushovd told the Dagbladet newspaper. “We do not understand why a decision can not happen…can not you just give a yes or a no? The case should have been finished by now.

“It's a shame that one does not get done with this before the Tour de France. It will only create negative publicity about both Contador, the Tour and cycling in general, both before and during the Tour. And that's the only thing we're going to talk about if he wins.”

He also points out that if he loses at CAS, there is uncertainty about whether he gets to keep his wins since last year’s Tour, nor not.

Some riders have said that they believe Contador, giving him their unconditional support. Hushovd’s stance is different, with the big Norwegian saying that he believes the Saxo Bank SunGard rider should be sanctioned if it is found he is at fault.

“It's a complicated case. But as I have always said, if people test positive, they will get their punishment and they must take it,” he said. “The rules work so that they are allowed to come back. It's like the rest of society, that if you do something illegal you should be punished and get a second chance. It's a bit hard to swallow for us cyclists - that someone is back a year or two later - but those are the rules.”

On a personal level, he is hoping that the Tour de France helps him to turn the season around. He won the world road race championships last autumn and since then has worn the rainbow jersey, but has not yet managed to win a race in those colours.

That’s been frustrating for him, but he promises to work hard between now and the Tour start. He said that his general condition has been good in the spring, but that the results just didn’t come. He’ll keep building, and has clear targets in mind.

“My goal in the Tour de France is to win a stage. And, of course, winning the first stage and getting the yellow jersey would be fantastic. I could then spend rest of the race in the rainbow jersey. It would be good.”

The Garmin-Cervélo team for the Tour will be finalised closer to the July 2nd start date.


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