Giro d’Italia boss Michele Acquarone has told Cyclingnews that he is ‘very upset’ that the Giro may have been damaged by the news that Alberto Contador has been handed a two-year sanction by CAS.
Contador tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France but went on to race and win the Giro in 2011, before his case was finally heard late last year. The two-year back-dated suspension means Contador will be stripped of his 2010 Tour win and his 2011 Giro triumph.
“I’m very upset but we can’t be quiet on this,” Acquarone told Cyclingnews, “but I will need to produce a new trophy. Until this morning Alberto Contador was our winner.”
Contador also won the race in 2008 and was hugely popular with the organisers and the crowds at last year’s race. It was stark contrast to the start of last year’s Tour de France when the Spaniard was booed by the French crowd at the race presentation in Vendee.
The Giro organisers had attempted to court Contador back this year but the Spaniard had set his sights on only racing the Tour de France.
Now he will miss both events with his ban ending in August.
The Giro organisers will hold a meeting tomorrow in order to discuss their next moves, a clear indication that today’s news has come as a shock to them.
“Tomorrow we’ll have a committee meeting and we’ll discuss if there’s anything we can do and how work to protect our races. I believe big damage has been caused to the Giro, and there’s a big problem but I want to discuss it all with the staff and the CEO to understand. I’ve not read the sentence and what the judges have said but right now it’s too early. I need to take some time to understand and discuss with my people. Tomorrow we will make our position."