UCI to appeal Contador acquittal

THE saga over Alberto Contador’s positive test for clenbuterol is set to rumble on after the International Cycling Union (UCI) yesterday confirmed they would take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Three-time Tour de France champion Contador, insists his inadvertent ingestion of contaminated meat was the reason for his positive test on the final rest day of the 2010 Tour de France. The 28-year-old was handed a proposed one-year ban by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC), before subsequently being acquitted; a decision the UCI have opted to appeal to CAS.

A UCI statement read: “The decision to appeal comes after an in-depth study of the file received from the RFEC.”

The RFEC responded in a statement, insisting they would back up their ruling to acquit Contador.

UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani expanded on the world governing body’s statement, insisting clarity was the reason for the appeal.

He said: “Our main goal is not to prove that Contador is guilty. We don’t want the head of Contador.

“We want to get to a point where we can be sure and we can give you the guarantee that we did everything we could in order to get the best decision.”

Contador has always protested his innocence and at present, the three-time Tour de France champion Contador is currently leading the Volta a Catalunya and was informed of the UCI’s decision after completing stage four in El Vendrell yesterday.

He told reporters: “I found out as I crossed the finish line. I trust my lawyers. I am a person that believes that things happen for a reason.

“If the UCI have appealed to CAS, the new process will serve to clarify much more my innocence.

“I reiterate what I have been saying in recent months, the UCI has a right to appeal. Probably the UCI has not seen documentation as complete and detailed as mine.”

Contador’s lawyer Andy Ramos insists “the evidence supporting Alberto’s innocence is overwhelming”. He said: “The UCI should not have appealed the Spanish federation’s decision — the compelling facts and science make it clear that not appealing is the only reasonable and just decision.

“Suspending the current Tour de France champion for one year, when we know he ingested the banned substance through a tainted steak, is an injustice of tragic proportions.”

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