Alberto Contador works to refute transfusion claims

Alberto Contador strongly defended himself against claims that his clenbuterol positive was triggered by a possible blood transfusion during the 2010 Tour de France.

Alberto Contador strongly defended himself against claims that his clenbuterol positive was triggered by a blood transfusion during the 2010 Tour de France.

Speaking to the Spanish daily AS, the embattled Tour de France champion shot down the argument that plasticizers were found in his blood and rejected the idea that clenbuterol entered his system via a blood transfusion.

“Nowhere in the UCI files does it speak of plasticizers, and there’s no approved test. But I will take it one step further, that they freeze and save all my blood and urine samples and they re-test them if a method is approved,” Contador told AS. “Also, I have a clean biological passport, something that the UCI backs. If I had had a transfusion, the parameters would have changed.”

Contador also said he is considering legal action against the Belgian magazine, Humo, which published a story with an unnamed source at Astana who said Contador took clenbuterol during the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné.

“We are studying a legal action (against Humo). You cannot back the claims. I passed two controls, one during the Dauphiné and another ahead of the Tour,” he said. “If I was taking clenbuterol, it would have shown up in the tests.”

Contador is entering a critical moment of his ongoing legal battle to prove that he is innocent of doping allegations. The UCI will have until March 24 to decide whether to appeal the decision, while the World Anti-Doping Agency will have an additional three weeks to mull the case.

Contador and his legal team are nervously waiting to see if the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency will appeal the decision by the Spanish cycling federation to clear him. Contador returned to racing in mid-February and won the three-day Vuelta a Murcia with two stage victories last weekend.

Contador’s legal team recently contracted Jean-Louis Dupont, considered one of Europe’s top sport lawyers, to help prepare for possible arguments before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“We’ve incorporated a lawyer with big ideas, who was capable of revolutionizing sport,” said Contador’s brother, Fran. “We have strong documentation in our favor and (Dupont) is an expert in international sport law. We are preparing ourselves if the UCI or WADA decide to appeal, even though we have no idea if they will or not. The decision is overwhelmingly in our favor, with clear evidence in our favor. They will have to think about it a lot.”

Contador also says anti-doping authorities need to impose a threshold for the now-banned doping product.

“Clenbuterol should have a threshold, and it needs to be done not just for me but for all athletes who could not defend themselves,” Contador told AS. “Look at the results three days before and three days after the positive, and the scientists could see the evolution, but if this happens is my case, with a concrete analysis, I have no salvation … While there’s a possibility of contamination, you cannot punish an innocent.”