Alberto Contador explained that his Tour de France doping defence is thorough and that hopes for a quick decision. He wants to return next year to win all three Grand Tours.

“I have high hopes,” Contador told France’s L’Equipe newspaper. “The dossier is complete and with the commission, nothing has been left to chance and it relies heavily on scientific data.”

Contador’s lawyers turned in their defence to the Spanish federation disciplinary commission on Friday, November 26. He is defending himself against a positive control for Clenbuterol on July 21 at the Tour de France. If he is found guilty, he will likely lose his third Tour de France title and serve a two-year suspension.

Clenbuterol helps weight loss and breathing, and has been used by unscrupulous farmers in the past to produce lean meat from livestock. Contador claims his test was a result of eating a contaminated steak bought just over the border from France in Irún, Spain.

His lawyer said yesterday that they are using a contamination defence. However, contamination seems unlikely since the European Union prohibits farmers from using Clenbuterol. It controls farms regularly. From 2008 to 2009, it checked 83,203 animals in Europe and came up with only one positive for Clenbuterol, and it was not from Spain.

Contador has been relatively quite since he announced his test result on September 30. Last week, he attended a training camp with his new team, Saxo Bank.

“For some time I decided not to expose myself to the media because I prefer to wait until a verdict is given. It’s difficult,” Contador continued. “A quick decision would be ideal, even if the case is complex. I just hope it will turn in my favour.”

Saxo Bank Team Manager Bjarne Riis supports Contador and welcomed him at the training camp in Fuerteventura, Spain.

“Alberto is in need of some relaxation. But his presence here is important. For me, he makes this team complete. If I didn’t think in that way, my attitude would not be correct in this regard,” said Riis.

“I have every reason to believe Alberto. He commands respect. Everybody knows his position and the team is united. The season will start and we must be ready, thinking that Alberto will be our leader in 2011.”

Riis signed Contador for a reported €9 million over two years before he knew about the positive result. However, Contador will have to wait until January or February for a decision, and, with the possibility of appeals, he may not race until the summer.

“I do not have his fate in my hands, but I hope the decision will be fair,” said Riis. “But for me, if a sanction is given, it would not mean he is guilty. It is an important distinction.”

Contador confirmed to L’Equipe that he wants to race to win all three Grand Tours next year if he is free to race. No cyclist has ever won all three – Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España – in one year. Contador has won the races in different years, a feat only accomplished by four other riders. Tour de France (2007, 2009, 2010), Giro d’Italia (2008), Vuelta a España (2008).

If he is found guilty, he said he might decide to retire and not return after his suspension.

“I can not guarantee that I will keep cycling in the case of a suspension.”

Related links
Contador’s lawyers maintain contamination cause of doping positive
WADA to appeal to CAS over contaminated meat case
Contador doping case: WADA ready to appeal, Landis critical
Contador slams Astana for lack of support during clenbuterol case
WADA dismisses Contador’s clenbuterol claims
Contador welcomes disciplinary hearing into clenbuterol case
Contador strengthens defence team in clenbuterol case
What next for Contador?
Spain’s sports minister urges patience in Contador case
Saxo Bank to continue team sponsorship with or without Contador
Riis has a plan B is Contador is banned
How does clenbuterol testing work
Contador considers quitting cycling due to doping scandal
Tension rises over Contador’s clenbuterol case
Contador case splits experts’ opinions
Alberto Contador: The clenbuterol, the beef excuse and traces of plastic
Spanish authorities investigate source of Contador’s mystery meat
McQuaid quiet on Contador case but says Spain can do more
Did Contador have a transfusion during the Tour?
Contador points finger at imported meat for clenbuterol positive
Contador tests positive for clenbuterol says governing body

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  • Atitipupu

    Clenbuterol + plasticisers, a superhuman level of oxygen transport despite eating steak before a Tour stage and having had his name all over operation puerto documents… yes, I think he’s innocent too, but that’s because I’m part of a support network of fellow dopers and there’s too much at stake for him not to ride next year. I’m going to totally ignore the plasticisers thing and swallow all his excuses without question. All we need to do now is make sure the Spanish Cycling Federation’s disciplinary committee is on side and hope WADA have got their hands full chasing Lance.

    I think with RIis’s history of doping he would be better off keeping any opinions about being caught not meaning rider is guilty to himself. Shut up mate before you drop us all in it – we’re busy doping over winter to get pumped up ready for the spring and cheat our way to victory in 2011. The last thing we want is anyone putting this jigsaw together.

    Those naive clean riders – why do they even bother? They don’t have a chance! Ban us for 2 years and there are enough dopers in the peloton to hold the fort until we get back to all the money and glory that matters so much more to us than the reputation of a sport or idealistic concepts like fairness, honesty or sportsmanship.

  • Chris

    Maybe I am mistaken but as I understand it the UCI hold the rider responsible for everything they eat and eating contaminated food is not a defense, and I would hope that the spanish authorities have a similar view. Although I can think of a number of cases where neither the UCI nor the Spanish authorities have followed their own guidelines.

    Riders should not be hired after doping offences, everyone knows the rules and those that cheat should not be allowed back or they will end up beating the innocent and winning the giro or similar.

  • Colnago Dave

    Like Bjarnes comment of :
    I do not have his fate in my hands, but I hope the decision will be fair,” said Riis. “But for me, if a sanction is given, it would not mean he is guilty. It is an important distinction.

    Possibly this says it all about Mr 60% and his past decision to sign Basso as I would have thought if sanctioned it meant guilt, but obviously I live in Cloud Cuckoo Land compared to Bjarne.

  • theswordsman

    I wish testing in America was as perfect as people think it is in the European Union. We wouldn’t need recalls of billions of eggs, or tons of beef every few months, or chicken. My favorite restaurant never did start serving crackers with salad again after the salmonella recall. The UCI declared the Tour de France clean, other than Contador, despite flaws pointed out by the Independent Observers. Not all beef sold in Spain comes from Spanish farms. Lots of it comes from South America & passes through a port 9 miles from Irun. Only 1 in 1199 of Spanish cattle are tested for Clenbuterol. And I imagine the system includes cheating & bribes just like various walks of American life. I’m sure there are never things slipping past government testers in the UK either.