Thursday, 27 January 2011

Alberto Contador banned for 1 year

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador of Spain and Team Saxo Bank today received a one year ban from competition. The ban, imposed by the REFC (Spanish cycling federation) had been widely anticipated, and falls short of the regular 2-year ban imposed for usage of more "serious" doping products, such as EPO, and for being found with higher traces of the substance (Clenbuterol - he tested with 40 times lower than WADA's limit of the substance in his blood).
Contador has 10 days to appeal the decision, although it's highly unlikely to change the outcome. The UCI also have the right to appeal the ban - if they feel it is not long enough, but given their rumoured implementation of differing time periods for different drugs it's unlikely they will try to increase this.
Should any appeal by Contador fail to change things - then it is likely that Andy Schleck will be awarded the 2010 Tour de France victor - a bitter sweet twist for Team Saxo Bank (who now have Contador, but no Schleck),
The start date of the ban has yet to be confirmed; it could be deemed to have started in late August 2010, or from now - more details when we know.