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Chavanel says Contador must prove his innocence

Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) has said that Alberto Contador must prove his innocence and satisfactorily explain his positive test for Clenbuterol during July’s Tour de France. The Frenchman is currently in Geelong ahead of Sunday's world championships road race.

“[Contador] is falling. The big champions are falling: it’s like that,” Chavanel told RMC.fr. “It’s always disappointing to see things like this, but it’s good that we’ve reached a point where things are being found. The levels [of Clenbuterol] might be low, but there are traces there all the same. It’s up to Contador to prove his innocence.”

Chavanel took two fine stage victories and enjoyed two spells in yellow at the Tour before going on to finish 31st overall, almost an hour behind Contador.

Sympathy for Contador's current plight was in short supply in the French camp. Chavanel's countryman Yoann Offredo (FDJ) offered his own candid assessment of the Contador case, saying that he was not surprised by the news.

“It’s a story that we’ve been expecting,” Offredo said to RMC.fr. “We’re not unduly surprised. A little [surprised] about the Clenbuterol because we’d really have expected something else. It’s like the tree that hides the forest.

“Right now, amongst the riders, I can tell you that we’re not that shocked.”

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.