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Spanish cycling federation president says he backs Alberto Contador

Juan Carlos Castaño, president of the Spanish cycling federation, says he hopes to see Alberto Contador cleared of doping charges, but added that he’s not the one to decide the outcome of the case that was passed to Spanish authorities on Monday.

Juan Carlos Castaño. | Image courtesy of Real Federación Española de Ciclismo
Juan Carlos Castaño. | Image courtesy of Real Federación Española de Ciclismo

Speaking on Spanish radio, Castaño said a four-member competition committee will decide Contador’s fate and said the panel could begin formal review of an extensive file e-mailed to Spanish cycling federation representatives by the UCI as soon as Wednesday.

“Personally, as president of the federation, my wish is that the case is resolved in favor of the cycling, for a lot of reasons: because I have known him since he was a boy, because he was licensed in the Madrid federation for many year and he passed through all the categories, and I cannot have anything but empathy for him,” he said in an interview on Spanish radio SER. “Not even the president (of the Spanish cycling federation) will know what’s in those files. They will decide and I will say that we have a strict policy of confidentiality … and there will not be any leaks.”

Castaño confirmed that around 6:30 p.m. that the Spanish cycling federation (Real Federación Española de Ciclismo) received six e-mail messages from the UCI that delivered the extensive documentation to the Spanish authorities.

“Usually with these cases, one e-mail is enough,” he explained. “This time it was six, and one file was so big, we had to ask them to re-send it.”

Castaño said that the disciplinary committee had already scheduled a meeting for Wednesday for other issues and expected that it would likely get its first look at the Contador papers.

“Anything could happen,” he said. “They could close the case, or issue a mere reprimand, or there would be a maximum ban of two years.”

Castaño said the federation has up to three months to act on the case, but he added that he expected a quicker resolution.

“All these cases have a beginning and an end. Once the committee reaches a decision, there could be appeals (from either side) to the Court of Arbitrationf for Sport,” he continued. “We hope that the committee makes a quick decision and resolves it well, because the longer it drags on, the worse it is for cycling. There has already been a lot of damage over the past three months.”

He also said he spoke briefly with Contador and his brother, Fran, who acts as Contador’s agent and manager. Castaño said that Contador had also received the same information from the UCI.

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