Suspension could cost Contador millions

Alberto Contador's conviction for doping and the resulting two-year suspension could end up costing him millions of Euros, between legal fees, penalties, the return of prize money and lost income.

In its decision announced on Monday, CAS said that it would rule separately on the UCI's request to fine him “2,485,000 Euros in addition to the 70% of the variable part of his image contract".

Contador is estimated to earn 5 million Euros a year under his Saxo Bank contract, and 70 percent of that would be 3.5 million Euros.

However, the court order also requires the “forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes" he won at the Tour de France 2010, Giro d'Italia 2011 and all other races after January 25, 2011.

It is not clear to whom  the fines would be paid, and what would be done with the money.  Nor is it known whether the prize money would be returned to race organisers and subsequently paid to the new winner, or whether the forfeiture would include bonuses paid by the team or sponsors.

He also faces the loss of his income until the ban expires in August.

The case itself has cost Contador a lot of money in legal fees alone.  He may have paid up to 2 million Euros to his various lawyers already, Daniel Malbranque, former general secretary of the professional riders union, told

“The money runs out very quickly in these cases,” he said. “He’s been paying lawyers non-stop for 18 months.”

In addition, Bloomberg reported that Contador lost at least one potential sponsor due to the doping case.  A deal with Hugo Boss AG to supply him with clothing for public appearances was cancelled when the positive doping control became public, Till Pohlmann, head of sports sponsorship for the luxury clothing company said.

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