Did Contador have a transfusion during the Tour?

French sports newspaper L’Equipe has published an article alleging that the same urine sample from Alberto Contador that

tested positive for clenbuterol

during the 2010 Tour de France also contained a substance that could indicate the use of an intravenous blood bag.

L’Equipe claims to have received information that Tour winner Contador’s urine sample taken on July 21 during the Tour’s rest day in Pau contained traces of a plasticizer by-product (di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate metabolite) associated with the use of intravenous (IV) blood bags of the sort used for blood transfusions.

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This method of detecting the use of IV bags was developed by an anti-doping laboratory in Barcelona, which published a scientific paper in 2009 on the use of the test to detect blood transfusions in athletes.

The substance in question is not on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list and the test itself has not been approved for use as an anti-doping test. However, the substance’s presence – if confirmed – in Contador’s urine sample does raise serious questions as non-medical intravenous infusions are banned under WADA guidelines.

Contador’s case is currently under scrutiny by the UCI, and he is suspended from competition pending further investigation. Contador himself is claiming that the clenbuterol found in his sample came from contaminated meat.

L’Equipe is part of the Amaury Group that also includes Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation.

Contador positive test: Related links

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Contador tests positive for clenbuterol says governing body