Press officer denies meat was purchased in Pau
Alberto Contador’s entourage has continued to refute claims that he underwent performance enhancing blood transfusions during July’s Tour de France. Fran Contador, the rider’s brother and agent, has denied allegations to that effect printed in the New York Times.
“What the New York Times wrote has no sense, they’re causing irreparable damage,” Fran Contador told La Sexta/Deportes. “Alberto is very tired and worn down from this affair. The only sensible thing to do is to await the outcome.
“The only certainty is that Alberto has not committed any irregularity. Everything that I’ve heard said about the control of July 21 [when Contador’s sample showed traces of clenbuterol] is just gossip. As for the test on July 20, the UCI has informed us and assured us of the fact that the test in question was negative.”
The July 20 test was taken the day before the Tour’s final rest day and according to the New York Times, the urine sample revealed the presence of plasticizers at levels that could indicate that Contador had undergone a blood transfusion. “A test performed on at least one of Contador’s urine samples from the Tour revealed levels of that chemical eight times higher than the minimum amount that signifies doping, according to a person with knowledge of the test results,” the New York Times wrote.
In spite of the force of the accusations, Fran Contador was resolute in his rebuttal. “We can only give our version of events, as we have already done. We’re now awaiting the decision and we hope that justice is done and the truth comes out,” he said. “You can’t send an innocent man to the electric chair.”
Meanwhile, Alberto Contador’s press officer Jacinto Vidarte has denied reports that the meat Contador ate on July 20 came from a market in Pau and not from Spain, as claimed by the Contador camp. Contador's defence is based on the hypothesis that the traces of clenbuterol in his urine sample were the result of eating contaminated meat which was brought to him from Spain by Vuelta a Castilla y León organiser José Luis López-Cerrón.
In an interview with Catalan newspaper Sport on July 23, Astana chef Paco Olalla spoke of purchasing “beef tenderloin in the market in Pau” on July 22 but Vidarte maintains that the meat Contador ate on July 20 came from Spain. The Astana team stayed in Pau on the evenings of July 20, 21 and 22.
“It’s false,” Vidarte told L’Èquipe. “We have the bill from the shop in Irun where López-Cerrón bought the meat.”