Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador has been given a two-year ban for failing a doping test during the 2010 Tour de France, ruling him out of this year’s competition and the Olympic Games.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his appeal that he ate a contaminated steak which led to him testing positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol.
A three-time winner of cycling’s biggest race, his future in the sport is now in doubt. Contador had threatened to quit if found guilty and now looks set to be stripped of his last title.
The Spaniard also faces losing the 2011 Giro d’Italia title and all his other victories last season.
Contador, who has 30 days to appeal to the Swiss federal court, is to hold a news conference on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck, who is set to be handed the 2010 Tour de France title, said: “There is no reason to be happy now. First of all I feel sad for Alberto. I always believed in his innocence. This is just a very sad day for cycling. The only positive news is that there is a verdict after 566 days of uncertainty. We can finally move on.”
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: “It shows that whatever the cost, whoever is involved, the ruling bodies are ready to go all the way.”