Cycling: Contador 'banned for year and stripped of Tour title'

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The Independent Online

The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) has decided to suspend Tour de France champion Alberto Contador for one year over his failed doping test in last year's race, the newspaper El Pais reported yesterday.

It was also reported that the preliminary decision by the competition committee had been communicated to Contador and that the Spaniard had 10 days to appeal before a final decision is made. The paper did not identify the source of its information.

The committee also decided to strip Contador of the 2010 Tour title, added El Pais. Contador's spokesman and the RFEC could not immediately be reached for comment.

A spokesman for cycling's world governing body (UCI) was unable to confirm the RFEC decision and said his organisation would be in touch with the Spanish federation today.

Contador, who has been provisionally suspended since August, won the Tour last year for a third time but it later emerged he had tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol during the race.

He has denied deliberate wrongdoing, saying the failed test was due to contaminated meat. Contador may also be able to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He has 10 days to appeal the RFEC's decision, with a final ruling to be made next month.

UCI could also appeal to the CAS if it feels the RFEC has dealt too leniently with the rider.