representative of the Spanish Government has said that no less than seven Spanish cyclists are under investigation for doping, and two of them may soon receive sanctions. However, Contador is not amongst them.
Speaking at a press conference, Spain’s director general for sports, Alberto Soler, did not name the seven riders.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
“Contador has nothing to do with this. Two cases are in the final phase, and in the other five we have suspicions because of their blood values and alongside the Spanish federation, we’ve decided to take drastic action.”
“I’m not going to say whether Contador is innocent or not. We don’t pass judgement,” Soler insisted.
The news comes at the end of a black week for Spanish cycling, in which five doping cases have already emerged.
But despite the relentless succession of cases, Spanish government officials continue to claim that the number of doping cases in their country is not above the norm.
“The figures say that Spain is within the average for positive cases,” Soler said.
“According to the Madrid anti-doping lab, in 2009 Spaniards had 1.2 percent of adverse findings, whilst the world average is 1.11.”
“In 2008, 2009 and 2010 11 riders were sanctioned in Spain by the UCI, whilst Italy had 10.”
However, what Soler failed to mention is that according to the Spanish media Spain has had a total of nine doping cases or failed tests for banned substances in 2010 alone, nearly 50 percent of the total of those registered by the UCI. That figure does not include the five who are under investigation, either.
At the same time it has emerged that Spain’s Anti-Doping Agency will have its budget slashed back by 400,000 euros in 2011, as part of across-the-board government cuts.