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August 14, 2022

Cycling: Contador faces formal doping investigation

GENEVA —Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is set to be formally investigated for doping during this year’s race. The International Cycling Union said Monday it had asked the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) to open a case against the 27-year-old rider who tested positive for banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in the final week of his third Tour victory in July, sports.yahoo.com informs.

The RFEC said in a statement it had received the UCI’s request and would follow all established protocols in order to “investigate and resolve all the issues arising from the doping control that was carried out on the cyclist.”

If found guilty, Contador would be stripped of the Tour victory and banned for up to two years. Contador denies doping and says the clenbuterol, which can be used to burn fat and build muscle, came from contaminated meat that he ate. His spokesman Jacinto Vidarte welcomed confirmation that a case was being opened.

“If this is the news then it means we’re on the way to resolving this issue,” Vidarte said. “Now it will be time to either sanction or resolve Alberto of the matter.”

Contador has threatened to quit the sport, regardless of the outcome of the doping investigation.
“Until the end of the proceedings and despite his provisional suspension, Alberto Contador still benefits from a presumption of innocence,” the UCI said in a statement on Monday.

The UCI announced in September that Contador had been provisionally suspended after his urine sample taken on the July 21 rest day contained “very small” traces of the banned substance. It then asked WADA for “scientific support” before proceeding. Contador won the Tour riding for the Kazakh-backed Astana team, then signed a contract with the Danish Saxo Bank SunGard team.

On Sunday, Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis said in a newspaper interview he believed Contador would be cleared of any doping suspicion.

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