Photo: Spanish Cyclist Alberto Contador Will Lose Tour de France Title for 'Doping'
Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador will lose his 2010 Tour de France title and be excluded from this year’s Tour as well as the 2012 Olympics, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Monday in its decision in a doping case that began 18 months ago.
Contador has a period of 30 days to appeal to Switzerland’s federal court, CAS Secretary-General Matthieu Reeb said in Lausanne.
The CAS imposed a two-year suspension on the Spaniard, but the sanction applies retroactively to Jan. 25, 2011, and is reduced by nearly six months in recognition of the provisional suspension Contador served last year.
He will be able to return to competition on Aug. 5, 2012, the CAS said.
Unless the suspension is overturned, he will miss both the 2012 Tour de France and the London Olympics.
Contador, who won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol on the way to his victory in the 2010 Tour. He said he inadvertently consumed the substance on July 21 of that year by eating contaminated meat.
The cyclist was cleared of wrongdoing by Spain’s cycling federation on Feb. 15, but the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union appealed the ruling to the Lausanne-based CAS, which finally heard the case last November.
Besides losing his 2010 Tour de France title, Contador will also be stripped of his triumph in the 2011 Giro d’Italia.
Reeb said that the Contador case is not completely closed, since the CAS must still take its decision, by a date not yet determined, on the International Cycling Union’s demand that the Spaniard be fined at least 2.48 million euros ($3.26 million).
After months of deliberation, the CAS ratified the thesis that the Spanish cyclist tested positive on the 2010 Tour because he had consumed a contaminated nutritional supplement and not from eating contaminated meat.
Contador and the director of his Saxo Bank team, Bjarne Riis, plan to discuss the CAS decision at a press conference Tuesday in the cyclist’s home town of Pinto, near Madrid.