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Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Friday, 1 October 2010 18:27 UK

Alberto Contador wants anti-doping tests revised


Contador blames food contamination

Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has called for anti-doping rules to be revised after his positive test for a banned substance.

The Spaniard, who blames contaminated food for his positive test, is provisionally banned after clenbuterol was found in his urine sample.

"The system is in doubt and should be changed," he told Reuters news agency.

"There has to be a limit set... so that quantities as tiny as those found in my body .. do not count as a positive."

Contador, who won cycling's most prestigious event in 2007, 2009 and 2010, has totally rejected rumours of a possible blood transfusion during the Tour.

"If they want to test every sample I've given in the Tour, as many different laboratories as they want, or if they want to freeze it for three or five years until other future tests are scientifically validated and then check it, they can do it," he continued. "I have nothing to hide."

The 27-year-old Team Saxo Bank rider stated the allegations had left him feeling very depressed.

"I feel like I'm at rock bottom. I feel really let down. I'm fighting against these accusations 24 hours of each day," he admitted.

"Right now I'm in a place I never imagined I would be, and it's not good."

An accredited laboratory in Germany found a "very small concentration" of clenbuterol in Contador's urine sample provided during the Tour on 21 July.

The amount of the muscle-building and fat-burning drug was 40 times less than the benchmark figure of two nanograms which the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) sets as the minimum level it must detect to prove doping.

The sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), said further investigation was needed before any conclusions could be drawn in the case.

Contador has argued that the minute traces of the banned substance found should not give rise to any automatic suspension.

"There should be [a minimum level]... the norms have to evolve, just as they have done for other substances like caffeine, where they changed the regulations because they realised they weren't right," he said.

"In the case of clenbuterol, positives should be positives because of the quantity found, with a specific limit, not because of the substance itself."


On Thursday, the UCI stated Contador was "formally and provisionally suspended as is prescribed by the World Anti-Doping Code" after both his A and B urine samples tested positive in a laboratory in Cologne.

Clenbuterol is often used in asthma medicines and has some veterinary uses.

Small outbreaks of clenbuterol poisoning - due to contaminated meat - have been reported in various countries.

On Thursday, the UCI suspended Tour of Spain runner up Ezequiel Mosquera and his Xacobeo team-mate David Garcia da Pena after a positive test for the banned substance hydroxyethyl starch, taken from both men during the Tour of Spain in September.

Both men have denied knowingly taking the substance.

"My conscience is super clear," Mosquera told reporters.

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see also
Cycling boss silent over Contador
01 Oct 10 |  Cycling
Angry Contador pleads innocence
30 Sep 10 |  Cycling
Contador blames food contamination
30 Sep 10 |  Cycling
Tour winner in positive dope test
30 Sep 10 |  Europe
Vuelta runner-up fails drugs test
30 Sep 10 |  Cycling
Contador signs for Saxo Bank team
03 Aug 10 |  Cycling
Contador relief over Tour victory
25 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Contador wins tainted 2007 Tour
29 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Tour is null and void - Wiggins
27 Jul 07 |  Cycling

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