Spanish beef producers criticise Contador

Spain's leading association of beef producers, the Asociación Española de Productores de Carne de Vacuno (ASOPROVAC), has criticised Alberto Contador’s claims that his positive test for Clenbuterol was caused by contaminated meat purchased in Spain and has called for a formal investigation to ascertain the facts in the case.

The association issued a statement saying it had asked public prosecutors to open "a formal and rigorous investigation to ascertain the facts once and for all and lead to any accountability, including that of Contador.”

“Contador is also urged to report the case via legal channels if he is really interested in clarifying the facts and to identify responsible, and not only via the media as has happened so far.”

Contador and his international legal team are currently preparing the Tour de France winner’s defence before the Spanish Cycling Federation holds on disciplinary hearing on the case.

Under anti-doping rules, Contador has to prove that the meat he ate was contaminated. He has always said the meat was brought to the Astana team hotel in Pau by friend and race organiser Jose Luis Lopez Cerron, who bought the meat in Irun, close to the Spanish border.

On Monday a representative of the biggest Spanish agricultural association, the ASAJA, Ramón Riestra, supported Alberto Contador in his defence, suggesting the contaminated meat could have been imported from South America, where the fattening of cattle with Clenbuterol is not prohibited. However last week Spanish newspaper El Pais claimed the official report on the case from World-Anti-Doping Agency seriously undermined Contador's claims.

Contador risks a two-year ban and would lose his Tour de France victory if found guilty.

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