My take on the Contador Case
First and foremost I am a huge Contador fan and I am sad for him and sad for the sport. We have this poor man taking the fall for the sport so to speak, while that Texan is smiling. A sad day for our sport in general.
So here are the facts as I saw them:
Clenbuterol is used pre-season /mid-season before peak to aid weight loss. Clenbuterol is a YES/NO drug. It is just not meant to be there at all. It's not like testosterone where the body produces it and a lab needs to determine whether the level is normal for the body. If clenbuterol is there, that is a failed test no questions asked. CAS and the spanish gov't tried to put a different spin on it. In the end, they failed miserably in doing so. This was a slam dunk case that should have been decided months ago.
The initial lab report also mentioned plasticizers in the blood. This specific type of chemical, called a plasticizer, is found in plastic IV bags. Evidence of that chemical in an athlete’s urine means one thing, the athlete has performed a blood transfusion to boost endurance. Furthermore, a test performed on at least one of Contador’s urine samples from the 2010 Tour revealed levels of this plasticizer chemical eight times higher than the minimum amount, which clearly signifies doping. Contadors tests did find evidence of blood doping, expert witnesses noticed clear differences between his blood passport in 2010 and that from 2007.
Where does the Clenbuterol come in ? clenbuterol probably occurred because Contador transfused his own blood on that day, and that the stored blood he had used already had clenbuterol in it. I believe, the minute trace of clenbuterol came from a contaminated needle during a blood transfusion, not from contaminated meat as the Spanish gov't tried to pursuade WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) to accept. I don't believe the theory of the "tainted supplement" as with most professional cyclists, all supplements are checked out repeatedly before being approved. He got caught and that is life ? I think he needs a new needle supplier come end of the year :-)
So on a more positive note, the good news is that we'll see him return in August 2012 when the ban is over. As I mentioned, I feel bad he is the scapegoat for the sport. This is PR nightmare for cycling. I feel bad for Bjarne Riis and the entire Saxobank squad as now Riis has to let his No. 1 charge go. Contador is no longer able to race, the contract between him and the Saxo Bank team must be suspended and could be terminated depending on what Alberto decides to do come August 2012. I'm sure other teams would love to sign him as well. After the Tour de France, this year, expect the "Contador sweepstakes" to take place.
This was a slam dunk case from the start, that should have been decided months ago. Anyone who's been in the sport a long time, knows it’s impossible to win the Tour de France without doping. Riders think they can get away with doping because most of the time they do. How do you explain riders who doped and came second to the texan ? Now I'm sure the doctors overseeing the Schleck brothers are going to be even more diligent than ever.