Alberto Contador has confirmed that he will not be retiring from cycling even if he is eventually banned and said that he will appeal against any kind of sanction.
Speaking in a press conference on Friday, his first since he heard he would receive a one-year ban for clenbuterol, the Spaniard said “I have no plans to quit. But above all, I consider this ban to be totally unfair.”
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“I’ve never doped. I’m an example of what it means to race clean.”
Contador said he had done around 500 anti-doping tests in his career.
“They’ve done tests on me in my home, with my family, I’ve had to go out of the cinema in the middle of the film or walk out on someone’s birthday celebrations. I did all that because I believed in the antidoping system. I believed it was right.”
“My only error has been to eat meat without it being previously tested.”
“The norms [about positive tests for clenbuterol] will change within three months, six months or a year. But what about me?”
“Those responsible for the anti-doping system have to rethink things. There’s an antidoping regulation [which states that any amount of clenbuterol detected is a positive] which is completely obsolete.”
“The amount of clenbuterol found in my system could have had no effect on my performance and is physically impossible to take intentionally. In no way did it help me win the Tour de France.”
“What hurts is that all of the scientists know I’m innocent. These rules no longer keep up with scientific developments and until the rules change there will be more cases of false positives in 2011.”
Apart from re-asserting his innocence, the 27-year-old from Madrid was also critical of the way his provisional ban was leaked to the press, but said he will everything he can to try to reduce the ban in the next ten days before it becomes definitive.
During the ongoing press conference, due to finish around 6pm Spanish time, Contador received the support of his team manager, Bjarne Riis, as well as his sponsors at Saxo Bank.
UCI awaits final Spanish decision in Contador case