UCI President Pat McQuaid has played down the possibility of a rapid conclusion to the investigation into Alberto Contador's positive dope test for Clenbuterol during this year's Tour de France, but insisted the UCI was not dragging its heels on the case.
Contador was not at the presentation of the 2011 Tour de France route in Paris but McQuaid was, and insisted the UCI wants to fully investigate how traces of banned drug Clenbuterol ended up in Contador's urine. The Spaniard has claimed it came from contaminated meat, but according to experts, food contamination in Europe is rare as the use of the drug in livestock has been banned for years.
“It’s a very important case and we need to be completely sure before a decision is taken,” the Associated Press reported McQuaid as saying after the Tour de France presentation.
“It’s quite complicated. We are waiting for the results to come back and I don’t know how long it’s going to take. In fairness to Contador, in fairness to the sport, in fairness to the Tour de France, we need to go into the details to make sure the decision that will be taken is the right one.”
McQuaid denied that Contador had received preferential treatment because he is the biggest rider in cycling and winner of the Tour de France.
“We don’t treat him differently than the others, but let’s be honest, the fact that it was Alberto Contador means that we have to be certain we take the right decision,” McQuaid said.
“We can’t speed the process up. The scientific evaluation is still going on, there is nothing you can rush. We just have to wait until we can sit down together and decide what the next step is.”
McQuaid also dismissed the opinions of the many experts who have commented on the Contador case. In particular those who have suggested traces of plastic from blood bags could indicate Contador benefited from a blood transfusion during the 2009 Tour de France.
“Experts from all over the place are giving their opinion, it’s speculation because they don’t know all the facts,” McQuaid said.
“I’ve also heard reports recently that claimed the UCI has been dragging its heels, but that is not the case. We’re waiting for WADA to come back with results so we can decide what the next step is.”