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Contador press conference: Tour de France winner blames food for positive test

By:
Hedwig Kröner
Published:
September 30, 2010, 13:57 BST,
Updated:
September 30, 2010, 15:07 BST
Edition:
Third Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 30, 2010
An emotional Alberto Contador during his press conference in his home town of Pinto

An emotional Alberto Contador during his press conference in his home town of Pinto

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Spanish Tour winner assures he did not take Clenbuterol knowingly

At a press conference held on Thursday in Pinto, Madrid, Alberto Contador explained to the press his version of his positive doping control for Clenbuterol on the Tour's second rest day, July 21. In a well-prepared statement he gave reasons for the adverse analytical finding, as he was notified of it already more than one month ago, and maintained that he was "the victim of contaminated food" and did not take the substance on purpose.

"The UCI informed me on August 24," he said.  "I had a meeting with the UCI medical staff on August 26, where I explained how this could have occurred."

Contador added that the reason for his positive doping control was contaminated meat that a person close to the team had brought to France for the Tour's second rest day.

"The organiser of the Vuelta a Castilla y León, José Luis López-Cerrón, planned to come to the Tour and asked our team cook if he wanted him to bring anything. Our cook asked him to get some good meat, which he did. So when this person came to the Tour on July 20, he brought some meat, which he had bought in Spain."

Contador continued by explaining that he hadn't been the only rider on the team to eat the questionable meat, but that the only rider who also had doping controls performed on July 21 was Alexandre Vinokourov, and that the Kazakh didn't have any of it because he had dinner earlier that day.

Once again, Contador pointed to the infinitely small amount of the substance found in his urine sample, saying that this could not have in any case had an effect on his performance.

"It's actually impossible to take such a small amount," he continued. "The administration of it is just not possible. So this points again to food contamination. Moreover, regarding performance, this amount is totally insufficient and doesn't serve anything."

He added that the fact that the anti-doping tests prior and after July 21 did not detect the substance - even though they were analysed by the same laboratory in Cologne, Germany - added momentum to his contaminated meat theory.

"I had anti-doping controls on the days before the 21, as well as after the 21, where the substance was undetectable again. This is a clear sign that the system is very questionable, and has to be examined," he moreover indicated, saying that the case, to him, was a "real error".
 

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