Alberto Contador Doping — Another One Bites the Dust

Man, not another case of a Tour de France winner getting caught doping. I swear I love cycling, but I have had about enough. This case is going to drive me crazy.

If you didn’t know, Alberto Contador, the three time winner tested positive for clenbuterol — which is a banned substance — on a doping test he took on July 21st during the Tour de France. Are you kidding? Seriously? What do we have to do to get a clean TdF? Can I get an ESPN themed “COME ON MAN!”

Contador admits that his sampled tested positive, but has a layered defense that may hold water. He first claims that the amount that was in his sample was minuscule and it was. He also claims he got it from tainted beef that one of the gophers bought across the border in Spain because the beef at his hotel stunk. This is actually a plausible explanation because the substance is administered to cattle to improve growth rates.

This is my issue with Contador and his arguments — this isn’t the first time he has been in a really shady situation. Before the 2006 TdF he was accused with other members of his team in the Operation Puerto Operation. While he was later cleared, his refusal to submit to DNA testing to determine if he had any connection to the bags of blood that were found as part of a raid. He may not have been guilty of taking any enhancing substances, but he was unlikely innocent of blood doping. Review the entire case if you want as I have, and I think you may come to the same conclusion.

The second issue I have with Contador and this positive sample is clenbuterol is on the banned substances list. Period. He tested positive for it during the race. Would he have gotten any advantage from a small dosage, accidental or planned? I don’t know. But I do know the substance is on the banned list.

The last issue I see at play here is the ghost of Floyd Landis. When Landis was put in a similar situation, he protested his innocence and we found out a couple of years later it was all a smoke screen for the truth. While a man has the right to launch a defense, I think everyone who tries to launch a defense using the same strategies that Landis did will have to live with Floyd’s legacy. Everytime I hear an athlete who tests positive for a banned substance try and proclaim their innocence, I want to puke. It literally makes me sick at my stomach. Either conscious or unconsciously, I immediately convict an athlete if I hear their sample came back positive. Thanks Floyd — we all owe you one.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

I think the TdF organizers should let justice run her course. If the UCI, WADA, and other organizations all back the results, I think they should strip him of the 2010 title and give it to Andy Schlek. Regardless of their decision, Contador is forever tainted in my book. You have to cast a suspicious eye on his results from 2010. I hope he can find the peace that you know he wants right now and I hope for the sake of the sport, this case can come to a quick resolution. But, somehow I doubt it will.

Tragic.

Was this the case that broke the camel’s back? Are you done with professional cycling now?

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...