Will Alberto Contador be found guilty in drugs test ruling?

Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will hear the results of a long-running doping enquiry tomorrow.

Contador tested positive for an illegal substance while winning this year’s Tour. A World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany, found a “very small concentration” of Clenbuterol, a muscle-building and fat-burning drug, in Contador’s urine sample on 21 July, according to the BBC.

However, the amount was 400 times less than the 50 picograms, which the anti-doping laboratories accredited by Wada must be able to detect.

Contador has always denied any wrongdoing and claimed that this was the result of contaminated meat, Sky Sports reports. He has been provisionally suspended since August.

He said last year: “The UCI itself affirmed in front of me that it was a case of food contamination…This is a genuine mistake. I think it will be resolved in a clear way, with the truth up front.”

The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) will deliver its first ruling on the case tomorrow, Thursday 27 January 2011. It will be a provisional decision with a final ruling on the findings expected between 11 and 15 February, according to the BBC.

If he is found guilty, Contador will have 10 days to lodge an appeal and can decide whether or not he wishes to make the decision public.

“Yes, we aren’t going to delay this any longer,” RFEC president Juan Carlos Castano told Reuters when asked whether Contador would be informed of the decision on Thursday.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) is set to be informed of the decision by the RFEC, but it remains unknown as to whether it will be making a public announcement. Contador’s spokesperson, Jacinto Vidarte, said they were unaware of the Spanish federation’s intentions, the Guardian states.

The RFEC say they asked the UCI for scientific consultancy on the case but have not received a response, according to Sky Sports.

[adsense]Castano added: “We’ve heard nothing from the UCI, it’s been over a month. We’re not going to delay it any further.”

Contador, one of five men to have won the three grand Tours (of France, Italy and Spain), said last year that he would consider ending his career if banned, the Guardian reports. He said that his positive test was the result of contaminated meat eaten on the second rest day during the competition and cited scientific experts to his defence.

If the ruling goes against the star cyclist, who is a yellow jersey winner in Paris first in 2007 and then in 2009, he could be stripped of the 2010 Tour title and given a two-year ban on top of that, according to the BBC. The only previous Tour winner to be stripped of the title was Floyd Landis in 2006.

Click here to read about Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and his battle with testicular cancer.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

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