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Evgeni Berzin and Miguel Indurain
Laments status of "half-sanctioned" rider
Five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain has called for a resolution to the Alberto Contador Clenbuterol case, saying that the delay of the Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing is good neither for Contador nor for cycling.
“It goes against Alberto himself and cycling in general,” Indurain said, quoted in Marca. “Such a delay is hard to understand.”
Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol at last year’s Tour de France, but was cleared by the Spanish Cycling Federation in February. The UCI and WADA both appealed that decision to CAS but the hearing, initially scheduled for June 6, has now been postponed.
Although the possibility of sanction looms over his every pedal stroke, Contador has been free to compete since February. On Sunday, he is set to wear the pink jersey into Milan in the Giro d’Italia’s final time trial, while the delay in the CAS hearing leaves the door open to him to start the Tour de France.
Ten months on from the disputed test, Indurain believes that the uncertainty over Contador’s status needs to be put to rest one way or another.
“It’s not clear about the rule [on the traces of Clenbuterol in Contador’s sample – ed], making it very difficult to apply,” Indurain said. “But of course a decision like this can’t be delayed so much, because Alberto is half-sanctioned and is still awaiting a final decision. And it’s been a year of this.”
Indurain himself tested positive for Salbutamol at the 1994 Tour de l’Oise, but was not sanctioned after both the UCI and IOC accepted his defence that the traces of the substance came about from his use of an inhaler.
“He’s had a good start to the year, he’s been in good shape and he’s doing a great Giro,” Indurain said. “It’s not at all easy to take the win, not just because of the toughness of the route and his rivals, but also for all that’s going on with the UCI.”