Author: Lee Rodgers
Published: 02/15/12 13:10
Much has been written about the recent CAS verdict on the case of Alberto Contador, from Eddy Merckx complaining that the verdict meant that ‘people’ want to “destroy cycling” to Tom Boonen saying simply that he is bored with all these doping dramas, and on to the head of WADA John Fahey saying very clearly that “Contador is a doping cheat.”
Despite the apologists who decry the ‘harsh’ penalty brought upon the Spaniard’s head (remember, the ban runs from August 2012, meaning Contador will actually only be ‘banned’ from now until August of this year - meaning he can ride the Vuelta), there is one simple and very clear fact at the bottom of this, and that is this: the same rules must apply to all riders.
But what about those athletes who offered positive Clenbuterol tests that were then exhonerated after proving their positives were the result of ingesting tainted beef? Well, that’s the rub - they proved it. Contador never did. His beef didn’t come from China, where beef is regularly treated with Clenbuterol, but from Spain, where tests prove that it might be, sometimes, but very very very rarely.
Either way, he couldn’t prove beyond doubt that the drug came from ingesting tainted beef, for if he had he would have been cleared.
And let us not forget the behavior of the UCI...
Initially the UCI statement said the level of clenbuterol in Contador's system was 50 picograms "which is 400 times less than what anti-doping laboratories accredited by WADA must be able to detect".
This was simply not true. It was, in fact, 40 times below the threshold at which WADA-accredited labs must be able to detect clenbuterol. People assumed that the levels found meant that the drug could not possibly enhance performance, but the drug Clenbuterol aids breathing, improves the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and increases the burning of fat.
So - conclusion? It will aid performance.
That seems to be beyond argument.
But I am digressing. Whatever the legal wrangles, whatever the behind-the-scenes goings on, there is no doubt that the UCI state that each and every single rider that participates in its races is to be held responsible for what enters their body, and that every rider will be held accountable before the law.
So, should Contador have received a ban? Yes.
Author: Lee RodgersPublished: 02/15/12 13:10