The International Cycling Union (UCI) today urged calm in the doping case involving Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.
"UCI regrets the inappropriate speculation," it said in a press release, "and expresses its desire that this affair be drawn to a conclusion in an orderly fashion."
The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) notified its cyclist yesterday that he faces a likely one-year ban and the loss of his third Tour de France title. Contador has 10 days to challenge the RFEC's likely decision.
Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol on July 21 in Pau, the second rest day of the Tour de France. The UCI revealed the test result on September 30, after he won the race by 39 seconds over Luxembourg's Andy Schleck.
Clenbuterol helps weight loss and breathing, and its use is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Contador claims his test was a result of eating a contaminated steak bought just over the border from France in Irún, Spain.
Contador will speak at a press conference tomorrow in Palma, Spain, regarding the RFEC's notification. He will be joined by Bjarne Riis, Team Manager of Saxo Bank. Contador signed for Saxo Bank before learning of his positive test result. He had raced for three years with team Astana.
Given the RFEC notification yesterday, Contador will likely be sanctioned.
"This information cannot in any way be considered as an anticipation of the definitive decision in the case," said the UCI. "To date, Alberto Contador has not received a sanction and the UCI still awaits ... to be informed of the decision."
The UCI explained that today it received the documentation that the RFEC gave to Contador. However, it has to wait for the RFEC's definitive ruling before it will consider an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"Only the definitive decision, that must be issued by the RFEC, can fulfil this purpose."
In addition to the UCI, Contador or the WADA can appeal the RFEC's eventual ruling.
Contador banned for a year, has 10 days to appeal
Contador to learn fate on Thursday
Contador ban decision due on Thursday
UCI admits it had documentation on Contador case since early December
WADA disputes Contador contaminated meat theory
Contador welcomes disciplinary hearing into clenbuterol case
Contador strengthens defence team in clenbuterol case
What next for Contador?
Spain's sports minister urges patience in Contador case
Saxo Bank to continue team sponsorship with or without Contador
Riis has a plan B is Contador is banned
How does clenbuterol testing work
Contador considers quitting cycling due to doping scandal
Tension rises over Contador's clenbuterol case
Contador case splits experts' opinions
Alberto Contador: The clenbuterol, the beef excuse and traces of plastic
Spanish authorities investigate source of Contador's mystery meat
McQuaid quiet on Contador case but says Spain can do more
Did Contador have a transfusion during the Tour?
Contador points finger at imported meat for clenbuterol positive
Contador tests positive for clenbuterol says governing body
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Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
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