Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) chief Juan Carlos Castano said Tuesday he was hoping for a happy resolution to disciplinary proceedings being taken against Tour de France winner Alberto Contador who failed a drugs test during this year’s race. World cycling’s governing body UCI on Monday handed the Contador case over to his national federation RFEC, telling them to deal with the issue. And RFEC president Castano said he hoped they would be able to clear Contador’s name.
“My hope is that this matter will be favorable to the (Spanish) sportsman,” Castano told Spanish public radio RNE. “I’ve known him since he was in the junior teams and I can’t help but put myself in his position.”
Contador, 27, won his third yellow jersey in July, but it was later revealed that he tested positive for trace amounts of the banned substance clenbuterol during the second rest day of the Tour de France at Pau on July 21. Contador claims he ate contaminated meat, although his critics suggest he may have inadvertently put clenbuterol a weight-loss and muscle-building drug – back into his system via an illicit and performance-enhancing blood transfusion. The RFEC announced Monday that they would act with the utmost haste to take care of the matter.
“The anti-doping department of the UCI transferred to us all the documentation with regard to this affair, demanding the opening of a disciplinary procedure as according to the anti-doping regulations laid down by the UCI,” it said. “As with immediate effect and in accordance with the sport’s international rules, the RFEC will undertake all the necessary action to cast light on and resolve the questions raised by the positive test of the rider.”
This procedure must be completed within a month. Provisionally suspended by the UCI, Contador’s future is hanging in the balance. If suspended for two years, he has threatened to quit the sport. Contador, who also won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, in August signed a two-year contract with the former Saxo Bank team of Andy Schleck, runner-up behind the Spaniard in the last two editions of the race.