• Cycling

Contador tests positive for steroids

ESPN staff
September 30, 2010

Cycling has been rocked by the news that three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has tested positive for steroids.

The Spaniard, winner of the race in 2007, 2009 and again this year, has been suspended by the UCI after a "very small concentration" of banned substance was found in his urine.

"The concentration found by the laboratory was estimated at 50 picograms (or 0,000 000 000 05 grams per ml)," read a release from the UCI. "In view of this very small concentration and in consultation with WADA, the UCI immediately had the proper results management proceedings conducted including the analysis of B sample that confirmed the first result. The rider, who had already put an end to his cycling season before the result was known, was nevertheless formally and provisionally suspended as is prescribed by the World Anti-Doping Code. "

The test took place on July 21, during the Tour, and Contador's spokesman has revealed the banned substance clenbuterol was found - with the 27-year-old blaming contaminated food for the result.

"Alberto Contador is affected by a doping control at the last Tour de France on July 21, where the substance clenbuterol was found," a statement from Contador read. "From the time of the first communication from the UCI, on August 24, Alberto Contador alleged food contamination as the only possible explanation of what happened and has been turned over to the cyclist authorities since then in the confidence that this very serious problem could be clarified."

Contador held a press conference on Thursday morning at which he claimed the failed sample was due to a contaminated meal.

"It is a food contamination case of which I am the victim," Contador said.

Contador is due to move from the Astana team to Saxo Bank for 2011.

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