Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), previously banned for two years and stripped of two grand tour titles having recorded a positive test for Clenbuterol, has told French television that there is no place for dopers within the sport.
Contador, speaking at the team's training camp on Gran Canaria to France 2's program Stage 2 on Sunday, said that the harshest of penalties needed to be handed down for those who contravene anti-doping regulations.
"For cycling, it should be zero tolerance, I express myself less certain but it is clear that there is no place for cheaters," the Spaniard explained.
Contador has consistently denied any wrong doing regarding his positive test from the 2010 Tour de France and stated that food contamination after eating a Spanish steak was the most likely cause for his positive control. In his latest interview, which has become a rare event, the 29-year-old reiterated that he has been wronged, having lost both his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d'Italia titles.
"I worked according to the regulations and they said that the victory is not mine, it's an injustice," he said.
The UCI has stated that riders returning from doping violation will not contribute to their respective team's points tally for two years. This has meant Saxo-Tinkoff drops significantly down the standings due to Contador accumulating the majority of the WorldTour results. The Danish team is now vying with Argos-Shimano for the final ProTeam licence. An announcement from the UCI regarding ProTeam licence approvals is set for the next day with the final list of WorldTour teams to be decided by mid December. The prospect of Contador being on the start line in Corsica for the 2013 Tour de France is heavily reliant on Saxo-Tinkoff gaining a ProTeam licence.
"I would love to do the Tour obviously," he explained. "I missed it this year. But if I only find out two months before, then I won't [be there]. I need enough time to prepare. Otherwise I won't be a part of it."