Alberto Contador cleared by Spanish Cycling Federation

Matt McGeehan,Pa
Tuesday 15 February 2011 17:58 GMT
Alberto Contador had been suspended
Alberto Contador had been suspended

Alberto Contador has been cleared by the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation after testing positive for a banned substance at last year's Tour de France and is free to return to competition immediately.

The 28-year-old Spaniard reported an adverse finding for Clenbuterol on July 21 last year, attributing the result on the second rest day to contaminated meat.

The RFEC's disciplinary committee last month proposed a one-year ban but today Contador's spokesman confirmed the three-time Tour champion has been cleared and is free to begin the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal tomorrow.

A statement read: "Alberto Contador has been officially cleared by the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation and has been authorised to return to competition immediately.

"If everything goes well, the rider will take the start, tomorrow, at the Volta ao Algarve."

Contador won the 2010 Tour - his third title after wins in 2007 and 2009 - as an Astana rider, beating Andy Schleck by 39 seconds, but has since agreed a move to Team Saxo Bank-Sungard.

The adverse finding for anabolic agent Clenbuterol, reportedly 400 times smaller than the World Anti-Doping Agency are required to detect, was revealed last September - after he had signed for Bjarne Riis' squad - and Contador was provisionally suspended. Clenbuterol can be used to reduce body fat and improve aerobic capacity.

Throughout he has maintained his innocence and today he successfully appealed his ban.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) and WADA retain the right to challenge the decision.

The UCI will take time to consider the verdict of the RFEC before deciding on a course of action.

A UCI statement read: "The International Cycling Union has received the decision of the disciplinary commission of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) in the case of Alberto Contador.

"While acknowledging the differences between the conclusions of the recommendation that had been presented to the rider by the rapporteur of the RFEC disciplinary commission and those expressed in the commission's decision announced today, the UCI reserves the right to conduct an in-depth study of the reasons behind the decision before expressing its opinion.

"In accordance with the regulations the UCI now awaits the full dossier on the case from the RFEC.

"Once this documentation has been received, the UCI will issue its decision within 30 days."

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