Guimard claims Contador could have used mechanical doping in Giro d’Italia
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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Guimard claims Contador could have used mechanical doping in Giro d’Italia

by VeloNation Press at 10:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Doping
 
Frenchman insinuates Saxo Bank SunGard rider may have broken rules

Alberto ContadorFormer top directeur sportif Cyrille Guimard has raised doubts about Alberto Contador’s performances in the Giro d’Italia, suggesting that he could have used illegal methods to win the race.

The Frenchman, who is best known as the past manager of Tour winners Lucien Van Impe, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon, made the insinuation as part of a long interview with the website Cyclism’Actu.

“I ask lots of questions about Contador. First, even before the [subject of] doping, I heard that during the Giro he changed his bike several times in the mountain stages where he was very strong. I don’t make an accusation,” he said, but added, “ it would be interesting if someone dissects the images, the causes of these changes of bicycles and the effects. It's true, do not you find it weird to change bikes so many times? I do not know what to think.

“There’s not only honest guys on the Tour de France, Giro and cycling in general. It’s the same director sportif as last year, Bjarne Riis. In addition, electric bikes exist, this is not fiction, they work and very well. Microelectronics is very advanced today. When you are capable of eating rotten meat, then one is maybe capable of doing lots of other things...”

Guimard’s words bring back up the subject of mechanical doping, which was debated last year after the Classics. Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner Fabian Cancellara was accused of this hidden boost by several commentators, with the former pro and Italian TV commentator David Cassani amongst those suggesting the technology was there to make it possible.

The Swiss rider and Riis strongly denied the insinuation at the time. The UCI said that it was going to introduce a mechanical scanner to analyse the bikes, and this was said to have been used at last year’s Tour. However since then there has been no indication that the tests have continued.

Contador and Riis are certain to be critical of Guimard’s statement. Unfortunately, with mechanical scanning now appearing to have been abandoned, he and other riders are left open to accusations of this nature. Both he and Riis are yet to respond to Guimard’s doubts.

Contador has won six Grand Tours thus far. Two of those are yet to be verified due to a delayed CAS hearing into his Clenbuterol positive during last year’s Tour.It will be held in August, enabling the rider to compete in the French race.

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