Chronological and comprehensive overview of the Alberto Contador case
For myself I have made an overview of the entire Alberto Contador case. I hope you find it informative too.
Alberto Contador hears August, 24 2010 there were traces of clenbuterol in his urine after a test on Wednesday, the 21st of July – the second rest day in the Tour de France. The 5 picograms were hardly traceable and therefore a second test was conducted in the WADA doping lab inCologne. The result was 400 times smaller than the test norm but clenbuterol has a zero-tolerance policy. The second test also resulted in 5 picograms
Contador made the news public on the 30th of September in a press conference. The UCI has not called it a positive doping test but names it an abnormal result. During the investigation by UCI and WADA Contador is provisionally suspended which is not a huge deal because he already ended his season 2010.
German tv ARD and French paper L’Equipe report there were plasticizers in his blood which points towards a blood transfusion. During his own press conference he categorically denies having had blood transfusions. The 0,000 000 000 05 gram derived from contaminated meat which Astana had brought in from Spainon the 20th of July. Other teammates (Jesus Hernandez, Benjamin Noval and Paolo Tiralongo) had also eaten from the beef but were not tested positive.
Astana-chef Paco Olalla initially says the beef came from Pau but later changed his story to fit what Contador claimed before.
WADA director David Howman told an Australian news paper in October 2010 that he thought Contador could never prove the origins of the clenbuterol. “We have heard this excuse before and it has always been rejected.” Danish doping expert Rasmus Damsgaard is sure Contador had an autotransfusion.
Dutch doping expert Douwe de Boer says WADA needs to determine a minimum quantity of 200 picograms clenbuterol in an athlete’s body. “Scientifically these 5 picograms are ridiculous. It does nothing to the body.” De Boer also treated the Fuyu Li case which is similar.
The Spanish cyling federation suspends the rider for a year but Contador protests. On February 15th, 2011 his suspension ends and a day later he starts in the Volta aoAlgarve.
In March he wins the Tour of Murcia.
UCI appeals the decision of the Spanish federation on the 24th of March 2011 with CAS. WADA follows a week later.
Initially the case was supposed to be treated before the Tour de France 2011 but there were lots of delays. Several parties want more scientific research into the matter. Meanwhile Contador is allowed to ride and wins the Giro. He finishes the Tour de France as fifth.
The case starts on the 21st of November inLausanne and takes four days. The Spaniard has two lawyers and 13 witnesses amongst whom his teammates Paolo Tiralongo and Benjamin Noval. The butcher that delivered the meat and the chairman of the Spanish association of cattle farmers are asked to testify that there is no clenbuterol in Spanish meat. The other parties are UCI, WADA and the Spanish cycling federation.
In the end it’s Contador who has to prove he didn’t know he ingested contaminated meat. It’s always the athlete’s responsibility to know what he eats, drinks or injects. The verdict is expected in January. It was delayed another few weeks because the impartiality of a judge was questioned. And a witness (Ashenden) was refused to testify. Uci and WADA denied this.
Verdict now expected in the week of the 31st of January
That’s when we’ll know who won the Tour de France in 2010: Alberto Contador or Andy Schleck.