Contador: This scar will stay with me forever

Tour de France champion offers his samples up for retrospective testing

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) has described the trauma of dealing with the doping charge that was laid against him as “a scar that will stay with me for the rest of my life”. Speaking to Spanish sports paper AS, the three-time Tour de France winner revealed that the saga left him unable to sleep and even losing his hair. The affair, he said, had left his parents “upset, crying… You can’t imagine the amount of suffering.”

Contador stated that he has always supported the fight against doping. “I want the riders who are genetically the best to win. I’m not bitter and I know how to forget, but I don’t want to forget all this. There are things that I will always see differently.”

Asked about his hiring of Bosman case lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont, Contador asked his brother and manager Fran to respond. “We’ve taken on a lawyer who has got great ideas, who was capable of revolutionizing sport. We’ve got documentation that is extremely supportive of our case and he knows international sporting law very well,” explained Fran Contador. “We are prepared in case the UCI or WADA decide to appeal, although we’ve still got no idea of what they will do.”

Contador said that he believes that the regulations with relation to clenbuterol levels need to be changed to avoid more athletes being caught out in the same way he has been. “I’ve not only done this for me but also for other sportsmen who can’t defend themselves… If all the samples from races in Mexico or Argentina were sent for analysis at the lab in Cologne it would be interesting to see what happened. While there is the chance of contamination, there should not be any possibility of action being taken against an innocent person.”

Fran Contador added: “The scientists say that it is impossible to supply such a small quantity of clenbuterol and that in those quantities it doesn’t improve performance; so, how can it be a positive test?”

Asked about an allegation which came from within his former Astana team and appeared in Belgian magazine Humo that the clenbuterol was the remains of a slimming treatment that appeared in his blood after a transfusion, Contador responded: “We’re are considering issuing a lawsuit against that magazine. The argument is impossible. It talks about dates on which I underwent controls during the Dauphiné or before the Tour and if I’d taken clenbuterol it would have shown up on those days.”

Asked about the plasticisers theory that also appeared in the press, Contador replied: “In no part of the UCI’s dossier were plasticisers mentioned. It’s a method that still needs to be verified, but I will go further: let them freeze my blood and urine and analyse them in a few years when it has been verified. My biological passport has not got a stain on it, the UCI admits this. A transfusion would change some of the parameters.”

Contador admitted he is now taking more care in choosing the meat that he eats and explained that the beef he eats now comes only from known sources in his parents’ home region of Extremadura.

Turning to sporting issues, Contador described the route of the Giro d’Italia as “monstrous” and revealed that he will make his way to the Giro via the Volta a Catalunya, Vuelta a Castilla y León and Flèche Wallonne. Asked for his thoughts on winning the three grand tours in one season, he said: “It’s something that I’ve thought about, but after all that’s happened I can’t see myself making the sacrifices needed…

“Between the Giro and the Tour there are 34 days to rest. And after the Tour there are another 25 to the Vuelta. But this year it’s difficult. I’ve not been on holiday and I’ve not relaxed… Bjarne Riis has told me not to get obsessed about it. I will go without pressure, but if I feel good well you know what I’m like… I will try to win.”

Speaking about the ban on earpieces, Contador said he felt that it will benefit him tactically because it is clear within his own team that he’s the leader and everyone rides for him. “Things get complicated in teams that have several riders with their own aspirations. But there’s a problem when it comes to safety. In Murcia Rubén Plaza fell down an embankment and nobody realized.”

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