Alberto Contador says that while the "worst is over", he has been left scarred by his doping case while vowing to fight any appeal brought against him by the Word Anti-Doping Authority or the UCI.
Speaking with Spanish daily ABC, the Saxo Bank Sungard rider explained that when The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) overturned their recommendation to ban Contador for Clenbuterol use during his third Tour de France victory last July, it was a "huge weight" off his shoulders.
"I thought there is some justice in this world," he said.
The personal cost to Contador in fighting his case may have also extended to his hip pocket with the Spaniard hinting in the interview that he was prepared to do whatever was necessary in order to clear his name.
"I don't know and I don't care [how much was spent],"he said. I told my brother [his manager, Fran] to do whatever was necessary. The issue went beyond to keep racing. It was a matter of honour."
Following his acquittal last month, Contador rode in the Volta ao Algarve after being cleared by the RFEC to compete the day prior to the start. The 28-year-old was looking for his third straight win in the Portugese event but finished fourth, 41 seconds behind winner Tony Martin of HTC-Highroad.
Contador's lawyer, Andy Ramos recently revealed that his defence strategy hinged on proving that the Spaniard had inadvertently ingested Clenbuterol through no fault or negligence on their part.
"It was an incredible job in gathering information and to demonstrate to the scientific community that my theory was real," Contador said while continuing that should the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) review his case, it will be fought with just as much vigour.
"Now I want to fight and if I managed to stop them sanctioning me I should fight with even more determination to ensure that the higher authorities don't do so either."
Contador also managed a thinly veiled swipe at UCI President Pat McQuaid who has previously been critical of Spanish authorities given the number and frequency of doping cases emanating from the country.
"I think that Spain itself is ready and at the forefront of anti-doping," he countered. "What happens is that there is too much talk about decisions. I'm surprised that you can try and make critical information available. Many things that have been in the press [have been] lies."
As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.
Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.
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