Alberto Contador has been handed a one-year suspension from competition by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) for testing positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France. He has also been stripped of his 2010 Tour de France win.

Spanish paper Marca reported on Wednesday evening that Contador was given the 12-month ban, and that he now has 10 working days to appeal against the decision.

A definitive verdict in his case is due by February 10, 2011.

Contador was provisionally suspended by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in August after tesing positive for banned drug clenbuterol during the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France on July 21 in Pau.

A low amount of the drug was found in Contador’s urine sample – 50 picograms or 0.000 000 000 05 grams per millilitre – but its use is banned at any level.

The Astana rider quickly blamed tainted meat as the source of the clenbuterol, claiming that a friend had imported a steak from Spain for him to eat. Unscrupulous farmers have in the past used clenbuterol to increase the quality of meat from their livestock, although its use in farming is banned in the European Union.

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  • Michael Mace

    This is very bad news for cycling just when the drug cheats appeared to be getting the message. I hope Contador appeals and is found not guilty as the amount of drug found was miniscule. For this great rider to be guilty of taking drugs is very bad news.

  • Ian Venables

    Given the half life of this substance & its period of detectability it seems absurd to suggest that its contanimated meat from a friend – I think if I was in that position I would publicly present my friend who would name the supply / source / farmer where the meat came from. Would I take that kind of chance of during the TdF – I think not. I hope I (& the UCI et al) have got this completely wrong & Contador proves his innocence. At he risk of people ‘In the Know’ scoffing, my understanding of this substance & its use in sport is that it is rather crude & old fasioned – is it really a drug used by professionals? There are plenty of other substances which would be more effective & less detectable – I could understand its use by an amateur / semi-pro but a top proffesional? According to tabloid newspapers the 1960’s are to blame for widespread drug misuse – even more widely read correspondents don’t look back much further than the Beat & Jazz subculture – these journalists should walk across the office & speak to their sport column colleagues. What would I do to have my name on the list of TdF winners – I can see it now ‘ Rider sells Granny into slavery’ Really! Ian

  • Graham oldroyd

    I was also riveted to the television for the tour, The battle between Andy and contador was the high light of my summers cycling viewing. But drug taking is wrong, But in this case I’m not so sure. it seems to me Contador is a good sports man in this case I think it was a error.
    I will support contador and think cycling will be a lesser sport this year with out him.

  • Stephen Collinson

    Cycling needs to clean it’s house, the handling of this affair clearly shows a lack of desire to ban Contador. In the TdF Contador clearly road better after the rest day, the evidence of Chlenbuteryol and blood plasticiser is damming evidence. A one year ban is insufficient . Well done Andy Schlek, clearly the better rider in last years TdF, a deserving champion.

  • Jon

    @Graeme – while it pains me to credit the UCI with common sense, the implication of the test result is that he had used it in training several days before the test hoping it would decay to an undetectable level, not that he took a tiny amount on the day he tested positive.

    Clenbuterol decays by 50% every 36 hours and according to the doping experts at Team Radio Shack it allows you to “breathe easier, workout longer and harder, trim your body fat, and enhance your muscles” (

  • Graeme Bailey

    Surely such a minuscule trace is completely ineffective in endurance race conditions? While it is sad that once again the sport is tainted is there not a realism that such minor amounts from food, aspirin type medication for colds etc are acceptable and common sense should apply.

  • Paul G

    So, is he going to retire as well then? He did ‘threaten’ it…

  • Lucas


    Two year ban same as the rest.

    Why is he being treated as a special case? He has tested positive so its a two year ban. End of.

  • rob

    fair point Jon but if we’re going on first clean rider wiggo would have won.

  • stuart stanton

    Great, out of the latest 6 stories on this ‘News’ section 5 are drug related Hallelujah !!

  • Jon

    Good news for TEAM Ley-oh-paaahrd HYPHEN treck then!

    I just wish he’d been caught earlier, unless he suddenly decided to dope in 2010 having ridden clean up to that point. If Contador and Armstrong were up to anything in 2009 they robbed Wiggins of a place on the podium.

  • Pete

    Strikes me as a preagreed approach between Contador and the RFEC. The RFEC save face by finding him guilty and retain a degree of credibility (albeit a very very small degree). For Contador it’s probably the best he could expect and is in effect only a 7 month ban, he’s already served 5 months since August over the closed season.

    Question is will WADA or the UCI take this to CAS. In my view they should.

  • UltraHemmy

    So of they have taken his 2010 tour win does that mean the year is from that point or from now? any one know of any dates yet?

  • arronski

    I thought last years TDF was so exciting i loved every minute of it i was glued to Eurosport for 3 weeks !
    The battle between Contador and schleck was riveting……OH well robed again its just like 2006 all over again (Floyd Landis rot in hell).
    I really thought Contador was Mr squeaky clean, more fool me. Just waiting for Armstrong to be proven a cheat and i’ll have to burn my Livestrong Gilet !

    I feel sorry for Schleck not winning last year ..does this make him last years winner now lol !

  • The Bolton Bullet

    Hope WADA push for a 2 year ban at C.A.S. and get it. Personally I’m more and more inclined to say one strike and you’re out for good, and i think more than a few of the pro peleton are beginning to feel the same way . It’s accepted that athletes riders sportsmen and women are responsible for what they put into their bodies. It is THEIR responsibility to check foodstuffs medicines etc . The ‘Dog ate my homework’ nature of contadors defence was laughable. Each case on it’s merits for sure, but you can’t accidentally dope for god’s sake and clenbuterol does not naturally occur in the human body. At .all. Personally had my doubts about this lad ever since earlier ALLEGEDdoping implications…. Ban the bugger for good say I .Set an example and a warning to others that no matter how much you ‘achieve’ by doping – in the end cheats never prosper…… I HOPE….