Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Alberto Contador: Read my case file
ROME -- Tour de France champion Alberto Contador urged international sports bodies Tuesday to read his entire case file before deciding whether to appeal the decision by the Spanish cycling federation to clear him of doping.
"I believe in the system, but they have to show that they believe us too," Contador told Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Spanish cyclist tested positive for clenbuterol while winning last year's Tour. The Spanish federation's disciplinary committee last month accepted Contador's defense that he unintentionally ingested the banned substance by eating contaminated beef.
The International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Both have said they would wait to receive the full case file before deciding on an appeals process.
"I just want them to read the whole dossier, without preconceptions and without giving into outside pressures," Contador said.
He said the past few months had been difficult, and he had thought about retiring. But he said he was already planning his return to this year's Giro d'Italia and that the Tour de France was "in my plans."
"If I can I'll ride," he said.
Contador said he was fortunate that he had the resources to hire lawyers and experts to help him challenge the positive test.
"But my battle is also for those who have fewer possibilities than me," he said.
Contador said because of his money and efforts, "unjust rules are going to be changed."
The International Olympic Committee's top anti-doping official said last week he has seen no convincing evidence that athletes can inadvertently test positive for clenbuterol by eating contaminated meat.
Prof. Arne Ljungqvist told The Associated Press that claims of food contamination have never been accepted by an international sports panel, and it's not uncommon for national federations to clear their athletes only to have the decisions reversed on appeal.