Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will reportedly face a one-year suspension as a result of his positive doping test at last year’s event, Spanish newspapers said Tuesday.
The disciplinary committee of the Spanish Cycling Federation (REFC) is to announce its decision on Thursday, and the rider will have 10 days to appeal, the sports daily Marca said.
“All indications are that the sanction proposed by the committee will be one year, so he will be stripped of his last win” at the Tour de France in July.
Another sports newspaper, AS, said Contador “could suffer a year’s suspension”.
The UCI provisionally suspended Contador in August in advance of a decision on his immediate future by the REFC after trace amounts of clenbuterol, a banned weight loss/muscle-building drug also used to fatten cattle, were found in a urine sample taken during the Tour de France.
However, the rider denies any wrongdoing and says he unknowingly ingested the clenbuterol from beef brought from Spain to France during the second rest day of the Tour, just four days before he won his third title on July 25.
Clenbuterol was banned by the European Union in 1996 but it is still administered illicitly by some cattle farmers.
Marca said the fact that “no one has been able to show how the substance entered” his body, together with the minute quantity of clenbuterol detected means that the RFEC will propose a sanction of one year rather than two.
Contador, who also won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, has threatened to quit the sport if he is suspended for two years.
The 28-year-old is planning to train this week with his team, Saxo Bank, on the Spanish Balearic island of Majorca.