UCI president Pat McQuaid put in an appearance at the start of stage two of the Tour of Oman on Wednesday, but with the press pack on his tail for a quote regarding the latest Alberto Contador ruling, it was more of a busman’s holiday than any kind of vacation.

“I can’t – and don’t want to – give a personal opinion until the whole affair is finished, and it’s not finished yet,” McQuaid said. “We still have to get the documents from the Spanish federation about their decision not to sanction Contador translated, and then we’ll discuss it with WADA.

“We’re yet to receive the full documentation, but once we get that we’ll have 30 days to decide whether we appeal or not,” he explained. If, as is likely, the UCI do appeal the Spanish cycling federation’s (RFEC) decision to acquit Contador, the case will be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Should that happen, it may not be until just before the Tour de France – where Contador will be hoping to defend his title – that CAS reach a decision. “I would hope, and be fairly confident, that it will all be sorted out before the Tour – that we can go to CAS and CAS will understand that we need this [ruling] relatively quickly,” said McQuaid.

In the meantime, the rules say that Contador can race, McQuaid reiterated – which has seen Contador start his season at the Tour of the Algarve on the same day that McQuaid has spoken.

“For now, we have to move on,” conceded McQuaid. “We have to continue racing. There are good, clean riders racing, so we have to let them race. The large majority of them are clean and they deserve the support of everybody.”

McQuaid said that he had last spoken to Contador at the Eurobike trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, last September. “I haven’t spoken to him since then,” McQuaid confirmed. “We discussed the case then.”

He also claimed he would not be discussing the Contador case with Oman race organisers ASO, although it was clear that ASO – who also organise the Tour de France – would also appreciate a speedy resolution to help them to decide whether to invite Contador and his Saxo Bank squad in July.

“It is still possible that we might not appeal,” McQuaid added. “We have to wait and see the full dossier. We’ve just seen 35 pages – not the full dossier. We have also seen the reasoning of the [RFEC] committee, which had decided to originally hand out a one-year ban to Contador. But what we still haven’t yet seen is everything that’s been supplied by Contador’s people in the second period, so to speak.”

McQuaid confirmed that the entire document is rather hefty – “60 pages, I think” – but that it should only take a couple of days to get translated.

Regarding the circumstances surrounding the way that the RFEC’s decision was made in Spain, McQuaid didn’t hold back.

“I think it’s disappointing. It’s up to sport to police itself – it should be allowed to. I don’t think it should be interfered with by politicians who don’t know the full facts of cases, making statements, which are purely political statements. I think it’s unwarranted and doesn’t help. It doesn’t help the image of Spain, either. It shows they’re biased towards supporting their own, regardless of what the facts of the case might be.”

Asked whether he thought the politicians had affected the outcome of the federation’s decision, McQuaid replied: “Well, anyone could make that assumption. I’m not saying it did – not at all – and the Spanish federation claim it didn’t, but you can come to your own conclusions.”

McQuaid reiterated that there were proper processes and protocols to follow. “Politicians should stay out of it, and it’s unfortunate that they spoke at the weekend, at a time when the federation was obviously under pressure.

“At the end of the day, though, I don’t think we can blame the Spanish federation for anything. They’ve done a good job. We’ve been pleased with the work they’ve done. We just have to wait and see now what the eventual outcome is.”

  • Rob

    Saxobank should withdraw there sponsorship . His reputation is in the gutter . I wont be watching any races that he,s in . He should come clean , its his ownly hope

  • Gez

    We do not know all the facts. Though why would someone take a weight loss drug just before the 2nd rest day in the last week of the tour? Were any samples taken prior to tour & during the first 2 weeks, probably and we have not heard of anything positive in those samples. Could it be a fix, if I’m not mistaken did this occur the day following chaingate! Clenbuterol is a B agonist & therefore opens airways in asthma, it all causes increased metabolism therefore used as a weight loss drug, it is nothing like EPO or CERA. I do not beleive he is a cheat, however if he is eventually proven positive, it will be a sad day for cycling.

  • adam

    One of the things that has always confused me about cycling -given the culture of litigation we live in – why people don’t press for bringing their ‘brand’ or name into disrepute when accused of doping?

    OK…. perhaps it doesn’t confuse me. Perhaps it’s simply because they don’t want to go to court and get fully investigated and thus rumbled….

    Agree that the Spanish Meat people should sue for libel… would be fun!

  • katie

    It is when you read the “I mean it most sincerely” type statements from Alberto that you want to puke

  • Mike

    A and B samples both positive, two year ban.

    This latest twist says a lot more about the Spanish federation and the numpties at the UCI than it dous about Mr Contador.

    Stick to the rules please.

  • Geoff Gartrell

    In total agreement with the above opinions. the Spanish meat Federation should be looking to sue Contador for bringing the industry into ilrepute and no doubt worrying the Spanish public as to what they are eating. Table tennis players in China may be a differnt thing altogether

  • Katie

    Like the statement from the Spanish meat producers association who refute Contadors claims on contaminated meat. They say they have studied the files and there is not one piece of proof in his defence.


  • richard evans

    Typical of the dopers safe haven Spain, and it makes one wonder why so many teams choose that country as an HQ, is it the weather or are there less interuptions?
    This is a bad day for the cycling world in general, as I suppose like me many of it’s customers (we watch, sponsors pay for us to watch) have had enough of reading about these people, so subscriptions to magazines will be cancelled.
    Befor I go out for my ride I ask one more question, If they exist why aren’t the innocent screaming about the guilty.
    The UCI have to sanction him, or just not bother anymore.