Contador pleads innocence after failed test

30 September 2010

Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has vowed to clear his name despite testing positive for a banned substance.

Contador, who completed his hat-trick of Tour wins in July, was found to have traces of clenbuterol in his system following a drug test on the final rest day of this year's race.

However, the 27-year-old former Astana rider claims contaminated meat brought in from Spain was responsible for his positive test.

Contador has been provisionally suspended by cycling's world governing body, the UCI, following the presence of a substance which can build muscle, help burn fat and assist with breathing.

Meanwhile, the Spaniard claims there is an innocent reason for the failed test.

The concentration of 50 picograms found is reported to be a minuscule amount and 400 times less than what the anti-doping laboratories accredited by World Anti-Doping Agency must be able to detect.

"It is a case of food contamination to which I was the victim," a visibly upset Contador told a news conference in a hotel near Madrid.

"The UCI itself affirmed in front of me that it was a case of food contamination.

"This is a genuine mistake, it's sad that a sport such as this . is involved in things like this.

"I think that this will be resolved in a clear way, with the truth up front."