Posted by Editoress on 02/15/11
The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) has reversed its early proposal to penalize Tour de France champion Alberto Contador for one year, and will not issue any suspension for his positive test for Clenbuterol.
The official reasons have not been released by the federation at this time, but Spanish newspapers are reporting that it is because of both legal procedural issues and an application of a UCI regulation (Article 296) which states that an athlete can be exonerated if it is proved that the banned substance was ingested through no fault or negligence on the athlete's part. A large proportion of Contador's defence was that the substance could have been introduced to his system through contaminated meat, and that the amount was extremely small.
Contador stated through his website that he was "officially cleared by the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation and has been authorized to return to competition immediately." A further announcement said that he could be back racing by tomorrow at the Tour of the Algarve with his new team, Saxo Bank - Sunguard.
The UCI has one month to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) a further 21 days after that. The UCI has released the following statement:
The International Cycling Union has received the decision of the Disciplinary Commission of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) in the case of Alberto Contador.
While acknowledging the differences between the conclusions of the recommendation that had been presented to the rider by the rapporteur of the RFEC Disciplinary Commission and those expressed in the Commission's decision announced today, the UCI reserves the right to conduct an in-depth study of the reasons behind the decision before expressing its opinion.
In accordance with the regulations the UCI now awaits the full dossier on the case from the RFEC.
Once this documentation has been received, the UCI will issue its decision within 30 days.
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