The International Cycling Union (UCI) on Thursday confirmed the provisional suspension of Tour de France champion Alberto Contador.
The UCI temporarily banned the former Astana rider after traces of the muscle-building and fat-burning drug clenbuterol were found in a sample taken from this summers Tour de France.
Cycling’s governing body did say the amount of the drug was 400 times less than World Anti-Doping Agency accredited labs must be able to detect.
Contador claimed he is the victim of contaminated meat brought across from Spain during the second rest day of the tour.
“To ingest this can’t be done. It’s impossible except by food contamination. Besides, for the performance level it’s absolutely insufficient, it serves absolutely for nothing. Any expert can confirm it. This case cannot be compared to any other case of clenbuterol because – as I was the leader of Tour de France – I passed a test before July 21. Before July 20 I passed a test and also the day before.”
In a press release the UCI said that ‘the case required further scientific investigation before any conclusion could be drawn’ adding ‘this further investigation may take some time’.
If the test failure is upheld, Contador could be stripped of his Tour de France title and also given a two-year ban from the sport as a first-time offender.