Despite denying all accusations of cheating on Thursday it was announced that three time winner of the Tour de France, Alberto Contador tested positive for a banned substance on the final rest day of the Tour in July. Contador insists that he never used performance-enhancing drugs, instead, he said, they were the result of food contamination.
Contador's most recent win was surrounded with slight controversy, after he chose to attack while one time Tour leader Andy Schleck dealt with an equipment malfunction. At the time Schleck was leading, Contador took the lead and the title away from Schleck, instead of holding back, which isn't a rule, but often done. Now the Spaniard formerly on the Astana team, could lose the title he won this year, face a two-year suspension and be added to a list of cheaters for perpetuity. Contador stands by his innocence.
"I'm the victim," a visibly emotional Contador said from Spain. "I'm sad, disappointed, but am keeping my head held high," he said. "It's a clear case of food contamination. I won't tolerate any sanction."
Contador said he was not worried about losing his title or a suspension calling the positive test an "authentic mistake."
"I will not allow a thing like this to destroy everything," he said. "It won't be easy, but I don't think it will affect me."
Contador said he unknowingly had eaten meat tainted with the banned drug clenbuterol, a weight-loss and muscle-building drug, on July 20 and 21 because the meat at the hotel where his Astana team stayed was so bad.
Contador tested positive on July 21 during the Tour's final rest day, one day before the Tour's decisive mountain stage. Though several of his teammates had dined on the meat, Contador was the only one to be drug-tested on July 21.
Contador's initial urine sample and a backup urine sample have tested positive for traces of the drug, according to a statement released Wednesday by the International Cycling Union. The cycling union's statement said that Contador has been provisionally suspended and that his urine sample contained a "very small concentration" of the banned drug.
"This case required further scientific investigation before any conclusion could be drawn," the statement added.
"I can speak loud and clear with truth on my side. Justice will be made."Said Contador of all the charges.
The organization that runs the Tour de France, the Amaury Sport Organization, released a brief statement on Thursday.
is now necessary to "wait for the results of additional analysis" from
the World Anti-Doping Agency and the "definitive assessment" of the
union, before taking any decisions, the statement said.
widely known as the best stage racer in the world, having won each of
cycling's top three races: the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and
the Vuelta a España.
A rival and former teammate of Lance
Armstrong, Contador was able to remain victorious in the 2010 Tour even
after Armstrong took nearly the entire Astana team with him to his Team
At his news conference, Contador said the tiny amount
of clenbuterol found in his urine samples would not have helped his
"It's impossible to ingest such tiny quantities,
except by food contamination" he said. "In terms of performance, it's
useless and any expert can confirm that."
Friend and potential new
Tour Champion Andy Schleck was quick to respond on his Twitter,
cautioning people not to rush to judgement. "What a crazy day in
cycling with the news about Contador," Schleck wrote. "I only heard
about it in the press. I hope he is innocent and I think he deserves
the right to defend himself right now."
Contador remained true to his work and tried to remain positive. "It won't be easy, but I don't think it will affect me."