Triple Tour de France winner Alberto Contador issued an optimistic Christmas Day message on Saturday declaring he would be cleared over a doping charge and that 2011 would be an historic year for him. The 27-year-old Spaniard was provisionally suspended in September after trace amounts of clenbuterol, a banned weight loss/muscle-building drug that is also used to fatten cattle, were found in a urine sample taken during this year’s Tour de France.
However, Contador expressed his confidence on his twitter that his claims he unknowingly ingested the clenbuterol from beef brought from Spain to France during the second rest day of the Tour, just four days before he won his third title on July 25, would be borne out. Clenbuterol was banned by the European Union in 1996 but it is still administered illicitly by some ranchers.
“I cannot say it has been either the best Christmas nor the most tranquil, but I am confident that in 2011 reason, ethics and the truth will prevail, and that justice will be done,” he said. “I would like to thank my team Saxo Bank (who he signed a two-year contract with in August) for retaining its faith in me. This year coming up will be HISTORIC (his emphasis)!”
The UCI asked the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) to open disciplinary proceedings against Contador on November 8 and the cyclist – who also won the Tour in 2007 and 2009 – has threatened to quit the sport if he is suspended for two years.