MADRID, Spain (AFP) – Tour de France winner Alberto Contador in an interview published Wednesday vowed to fight any attempt to re-impose doping sanctions.
Contador tested positive for clenbuterol during last July’s Tour de France, which he won.
The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) last month declined to penalize the rider after accepting Contador’s claim that he had eaten drug-contaminated meat and was therefore not at fault.
The UCI and WADA can still appeal to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have that decision over-ruled.
When asked what he would do if WADA appealed and CAS imposed a suspension or stripped him of his 2010 Tour win, the 28-year-old Contador was defiant.
“Now I want to fight and if I managed to stop them sanctioning me I should fight with even more determination to ensure that the higher authorities don’t do so either,” he said in an interview with the daily ABC.
Contador called again for a review of anti-doping procedures, which he has criticized for harming his reputation over the detection of a minute trace of clenbuterol he claims came from eating a contaminated steak.
Some laboratories were expected to detect these trace levels but not others, he said.
“I want WADA to review my case, study it and find new guidelines for the future,” he said. Contador said he was concentrated on his riding. “I am not completely happy because I have suffered a lot, too much.”
“This will always be remembered, it will always be there. The worst is over but they have done so much damage with so many lies, defamations and inventions.” he said, alluding to wide-spread speculation that the single-day appearance of low levels of clenbuterol had been the result of an illicit transfusion of blood, stored at a time when he might have been using clenbuterol without detection.
Contador rode in the Vuelta ao Algarve last month after being cleared by the RFEC to compete on the eve of the start. Bidding to win the race for the third successive year, he could only finish fourth overall after finishing 15th in the final stage.