Alberto Contador broke a month’s silence late Thursday evening both to criticise his current team, Astana, for their failure to support him during the clenbuterol case and also to confirm that he may well not continue racing if he receives a full two-year ban.

Speaking on Spanish television, Contador said “Everybody behaves in different ways and Astana have not shown me enough respect.”

“In the last few years I’ve worked my finger to the bone for the team, winning them two Tours, a Giro and a Vuelta.”

“But they weren’t even capable of bringing out a four-line press release to deny something allegedly said by somebody in their team.” – a reference to the Belgian magazine Humo, and its article published in October, which claimed to interview an un-named Astana member of staff accusing Contador of doping.

“It’s a pity I wasn’t in a team like Saxo Bank last year. I’d have got a lot more support,” Contador concluded.

Asked if he would retire if he was suspended for two years, Contador replied, “I’m only thinking about everything being resolved  favourably.”

“It’s too soon to go into everything in detail, but I can’t assure you that I would continue if I was suspended for two full years.”

Contador also confirmed that he will be attending Saxo Bank’s first training camp for 2011, which is due to start this Sunday in the Canary Islands.

“It’s good for everybody. All 24 riders in the team will be together and these training camps are good to form a team.”

Today (Friday) is a crucial day in the Spanish Cycling Federation’s disciplinary hearing against Contador. His lawyers will present his defense to the committee overseeing the case, a defense which remains 100 percent based on the argument that he ate contaminated meat.

Asked if he had any comment on the criticisms made of him recently by some Spanish agricultural associations  – although he has received the support of others – Contador said simply “the only thing I want to say is that my case is a case of contaminated foodstuffs, bought in a Spanish shop.”

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