World cycling chief Pat McQuaid said Wednesday that he wants a definitive decision in the doping case of Alberto Contador before the start of the Tour de France in July.
Spain’s cycling federation (RFEC) on Tuesday cleared the three-time Tour de France champion of knowingly using a banned substance in a dramatic U-turn that means he can ride in this year’s race.
The 28-year-old’s future had hung in the balance after testing positive for minute traces of the banned substance clenbuterol during last July’s Tour de France.
Contador had repeatedly denied knowingly taking any banned substances, blaming the result on a steak he says was contaminated with traces of the muscle-building drug.
UCI president McQuaid said he would wait to study the complete file before deciding whether to appeal the RFEC decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“At the UCI we don’t know the case sufficiently. We received a 25-page summary yesterday (Tuesday) and are waiting to receive the complete file to study it and to really see what is behind this affair,” said McQuaid at the Tour of Oman.
“That will be done in conjunction with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) even if the decision to appeal or not will be taken by the UCI. We’ll have 30 days from the time we receive the file.”
While McQuaid said he had been particularly surprised by the decision he had been shocked by politicians becoming involved, especially when Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero weighed in by stating last week “there is no legal reason to sanction Contador.”
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” said McQuaid. “On the other hand I’m disappointed by the political pressure in Spain. That doesn’t help with a calm investigation.
“I don’t understand why politicians have to meddle in sport which has its own disciplinary procedures. Having said that, I don’t blame the Spanish cycling federation which did its job investigating in a serious manner.”
He added: “I hope that the affair will be definitively closed before the start of the next Tour de France. I work tirelessly to ensure the credibility of cycling by doing the maximum for riders who respect the rules. All the rules.”