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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 6, 2012

Date published:
February 06, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Contador: CAS to rule on 2.4 million Euro fine later

    Alberto Contador arrives at his CAS hearing with brother Fran and attorneys Adam Lewis and Mike Morgan
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 12:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Details of the two-year ban for Clenbuterol positive

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport has issued a lengthy statement confirming its two-year ban imposed on Alberto Contador. CAS also made know that a request for a 2.485.000 Euro fine made by the UCI will be ruled on "at a later stage".

    CAS "has found Alberto Contador guilty of a doping offence," the statement read. "As a consequence, Alberto Contador is sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility starting retroactively on 25 January 2011, minus the period of the provisional suspension served in 2010-2011 (5 months and 19 days). The suspension should therefore come to an end on 5 August 2012."

    The Swiss court also stated that Contador could not prove that his Clenbuterol positive from July 21, 2010, came from contaminated meat consumption. "The Panel found that there were no established facts that would elevate the possibility of meat contamination to an event that could have occurred on a balance of probabilities. Unlike certain other countries, notably outside Europe, Spain is not known to have a contamination problem with clenbuterol in meat. Furthermore, no other cases of athletes having tested positive to clenbuterol allegedly in connection with the consumption of Spanish meat are known."

    On the other side, CAS said that the UCI's explanation of a blood transfusion also remained a theory and that the most probable explanation for the finding was from a contaminated food supplement.

    "The Panel concluded that both the meat contamination scenario and the blood transfusion scenario were, in theory, possible explanations for the adverse analytical findings, but were however equally unlikely. In the...

  • Pereiro furious over Contador's CAS ban

    Oscar Pereiro won the Tour in 2006 but retired at the end of this season. He's now a soccer player
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 12:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard hits out at UCI and CAS

    Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro lashed out at the decision to suspend Alberto Contador for two years, blaming both the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the UCI. Ironically, Pereiro took the 2006 Tour de France title only after the disqualification of Floyd Landis on doping charges.

    "Two years of sanctions to Alberto Contador and the judgement says that the doping is not proven," he tweeted. "Then? Sons of a ...."

    In another tweet, he referred to Alejandro Valverde, who just came off a two-year ban. "We have two Spaniards sanctioned, without the UCI or CAS proving it. Shame on you (...) Do you know what I think? He is innocent, I know him. Hopefully he will go through with this to the end and then we will see who we pay for and who does their job like shit."

    Pereiro, who started playing soccer in the Spanish B league after ending his career as a cyclist in 2010, did not hold back.

    "If I didn't like it so much and didn't work in it, I would stop watching cycling. I have always said and I hoped that one day they'll treat us fairly. And clearly, too. What really is rotten in cycling are the leaders who become millionaires with our sweat and effort. And they wait two years for this and don't have the balls to say anything at the time? You will see the dust of Mr. McQuaid and company."

    Pereiro was awarded the 2006 Tour victory in September 2007, after Landis was found to have doped during the Tour. He now works for Spanish media during the Tour de France and also races car Rallye.

  • Andy Schleck reacts to Contador's doping ban

    Tour champion Alberto Contador (Astana) shakes hands with runner-up Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank).
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 13:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider believed in Contador's innocence claim

    Andy Schleck has reacted to the news that Alberto Contador has been handed a two year sanction by the CAS. Schleck finished second to Contador during the controversial Tour de France in 2010, in which traces of clenbuterol were found in one of Contador’s test samples.

    "There is no reason to be happy now”, Schleck said in a RadioShack-Nissan press release

    “First of all I feel sad for Alberto. I always believed in his innocence. This is just a very sad day for cycling. The only positive news is that there is a verdict after 566 days of uncertainty. We can finally move on.”

    Contador faces all race results being stripped from him since and including the Tour title in 2010, meaning Schleck, who has never won a stage race, will become the official race winner.

    “I trust that the CAS judges took all things into consideration after reading a 4,000 page file. If now I am declared overall winner of the 2010 Tour de France it will not make me happy. I battled with Contador in that race and I lost. My goal is to win the Tour de France in a sportive way, being the best of all competitors, not in court. If I succeed this year, I will consider it as my first Tour victory.”

  • Scarponi responds to Contador verdict

    Giro champion Alberto Contador and runner-up Michele Scarponi on the final podium.
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 14:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian to be awarded 2011 Giro, Gadret moves up to third

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to suspend Alberto Contador for two years means that his 2011 Giro d’Italia title passes to Michele Scarponi, who stood on the second step of the podium in Milan last May.

    Scarponi raced with Contador at Liberty Seguros prior to his own suspension for his implication in Operacion Puerto, and was muted in his response to being retroactively awarded the maglia rosa at Contador’s expense.

    “Together with my team, Lampre-ISD, I acknowledge the decision taken by CAS on the Contador case,” Scarponi said in a statement released by his team on Monday. “From a human point of view, I’m very sorry for Alberto. From a professional aspect, this decision doesn’t change the value of the results I have obtained up to now or my future objectives.”

    Scarponi finished the Giro 6:10 behind Contador, but enjoyed a tight battle with Vincenzo Nibali for the second spot on the podium. He succeeded in holding off the challenge of Vincenzo Nibali by 46 seconds in the final time trial, a performance which will ultimately see him inscribed in the record books as the winner of the 2011 Giro.

    Another beneficiary of Contador’s suspension is John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who moves up from fourth to third place overall. Like Scarponi, the Frenchman’s reaction to the news was low-key.

    “I don’t even know if it will appear on my palmares,” Gadret told L’Équipe. “I’ll say that I...

  • Spanish champions spring to Contador’s defence

    An ecstatic Alberto Contador (Astana) has won his third Tour de France.
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 15:25 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Pereiro, Delgado and Induráin all shocked by the extent of the ban imposed

    It won’t come as too much of surprise to hear that the Spanish reaction to the news of Alberto Contador’s two-year ban was one of total indignation, with a good degree apoplexy mixed in.

    Oscar Pereiro, who inherited the 2006 Tour title after Landis had been stripped of the title, complained on Twitter: “We’ve now had two Spanish riders sanctioned without the UCI nor the CAS having proved that they doped… Do you know what I think? That he is innocent, I know him! ... And what is clearer still is that what is really rotten in cycling is its administrators who become millionaires on the back of our sweat and effort.”

    Another of Spain’s Tour winners, Pedro Delgado was equally forthright on Twitter, stating: “I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. The UCI, WADA and CAS are just looking to make names for themselves. They ought to go away and reconsider the fight against doping.”

    Delgado felt that the fact that lesser penalties have been handed out in similar cases should have been taken into account in Contador’s case. Speaking to Spanish news agency EFE, he commented. “Being objective, if they thought that the presence of clenbuterol made a ban feasible, then they should have imposed a ban of one year and not of two… this ban is over the top and even more so when the tribunal itself admits that it hasn’t demonstrated that doping has taken place… If the case had involved a less well-known cyclist, the sanction would have been smaller.”

    Another Spanish Tour winner, Miguel Induráin, who is currently at the Laureus Sports Awards Gala, commented: “Hell, I wasn’t expecting this. It’s really bad news.”

    El País was quick to respond to the...

  • Giro d'Italia boss left upset over Contador ban

    Alberto Contador and the Giro d'Italia trophy
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 16:34 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Acquarone: "Now we need a new trophy"

    Giro d’Italia boss Michele Acquarone has told Cyclingnews that he is ‘very upset’ that the Giro may have been damaged by the news that Alberto Contador has been handed a two-year sanction by CAS.

    Contador tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France but went on to race and win the Giro in 2011, before his case was finally heard late last year. The two-year back-dated suspension means Contador will be stripped of his 2010 Tour win and his 2011 Giro triumph.

    “I’m very upset but we can’t be quiet on this,” Acquarone told Cyclingnews, “but I will need to produce a new trophy. Until this morning Alberto Contador was our winner.”

    Contador also won the race in 2008 and was hugely popular with the organisers and the crowds at last year’s race. It was stark contrast to the start of last year’s Tour de France when the Spaniard was booed by the French crowd at the race presentation in Vendee.

    The Giro organisers had attempted to court Contador back this year but the Spaniard had set his sights on only racing the Tour de France.

    Now he will miss both events with his ban ending in August.

    The Giro organisers will hold a meeting tomorrow in order to discuss their next moves, a clear indication that today’s news has come as a shock to them.

    “Tomorrow we’ll have a committee meeting and we’ll discuss if there’s anything we can do and how work to protect our races. I believe big damage has been caused to the Giro, and there’s a big problem but I want to discuss it all with the staff and the CEO to understand. I’ve not read the sentence and what the judges have said but right...

  • UCI Licence Commission to decide Saxo Bank's WorldTour fate

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) gets in one last race before his CAS verdict is announced.
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 17:16 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Loss of Contador's points could cost the team

    The UCI is set to ask its independent Licence Commission to review Saxo Bank's standing within the WorldTour.

    Earlier today Saxo Bank's team leader Alberto Contador was handed a two-year suspension from CAS for testing positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

    The suspension means that Saxo Bank stand to lose all of Contador's UCI points during the banned period in which he won numerous races, including the Giro d'Italia. More than two thirds of the teams' points come from Contador (68 percent to be exact) and such a slip in the rankings means that the UCI will ask the team to appear before the Commission in the coming days.

    Section of the UCI rules states a ProTour licence may be withdrawn "if the information taken into account in granting the licence or the registration of the UCI ProTeam has changed such that the issue conditions are no longer fulfilled, or the commission considers that the new situation does not justify the issue of a licence or registration". Without Contador's points, Saxo Bank's sporting qualification to be a ProTour team will come under review.

    Hours earlier Saxo Bank issued a short press release following the news that its rider Alberto Contador has been handed a two-year suspension by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

    The Danish team signed Contador in 2010, before it was announced that he’d tested positive for clenbuterol at that year’s Tour de France. The team supported the Spaniard and raced him throughout the 2011 season as he picked up numerous wins and UCI points.

    "After what has been a very tough situation for our team, today we have finally received the result of the CAS hearing in the case...

  • Zomegnan says stripping Contador's 2011 Giro title is nonsense

    The final Giro podium in front of the Duomo (l-r): Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), 2nd; Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard), 1st; Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), 3rd.
    Article published:
    February 06, 2012, 18:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Martinelli thinks Spaniard was badly advised

    Former Giro d’Italia director Angelo Zomegnan labelled the decision to strip Alberto Contador of his 2011 Giro title as “nonsense.” Writing in his blog on the Gazzetta dello Sport website, Zomegnan decried the 565-day delay between Contador’s original positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France and the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s verdict on the matter, but defended Contador’s presence at the 2011 Giro, explaining that, as the rules stood, the Spaniard was eligible to compete.

    “To all of those who are asking about his most recent Giro win, I reply once and for all that he arrived in Italy with a regular licence, certified by the UCI and he finished the race without anything suspect in his urine or blood: therefore, taking the Giro from him is simply a nonsense,” wrote Zomegnan, who left his position after the 2011 Giro. “But it also serves to make it understood that the rules of the game need to be changed. And quickly.”

    Given that the Spanish federation had cleared Contador to compete from February 2011 onwards, Zomegnan questioned the fairness of now expunging his results from that period from the record books.

    “If Contador was allowed to ride these past months after being sidelined up until his absolution by the Spanish federation, why are the titles he won without failing anti-doping tests being confiscated now?” he asked.

    Nonetheless, Zomegnan acknowledged that according to current WADA guidelines, an athlete whose sample contains traces of clenbuterol is liable to be suspended, and again stressed his disappointment at the delay in arriving at a verdict. “If the sentence the right one, it’s simply arrived with a 16-month delay, obliging cycling...