Last week saw yet another doping-related cycling controversy. This time, 3-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador [tested positive for the asthma medication Clenbuterol.][clen]
The Spaniard pointed to a cut of meat he shared with his teammates on the rest day in Pau as the source of the contamination.
However plausible this explanation is, it seems unlikely that it will cause the case to be dismissed; athletes often claim tainted supplements and food but 1 have been successful. Time will tell whether the world at large - and not just the Spanish people believe him.
Somewhat more interesting is the revelation that the same urine sample contained traces of di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate metabolite, a metabolite of the plastic commonly used in blood bags. In fairness, the plastic is also used in food and consumer 2, which also tracks with his explanation of tainted food. Others believe that the two are indicative of Contador receiving a blood transfusion during the second rest day of the Tour de France, the day before he battled Andy Schleck for the overall lead on the Col du Tourmalet.
Given the supposed IM transcripts between Frankie Andreau and Jonathan Vaughters about rest day blood transfusions a few years ago, its possible that Alberto “refilled” during the rest day in preparation for his dominating showing the following day.
I guess we’ll never know the real truth about what goes on in the professional peleton.
And finally, no cycling story would be complete without the inevitable shock and surprise - and backstabbing innuendo - from Greg LeMond.
“I find it hard to believe that a professional like Alberto Contador would risk a detectable drug and I can’t believe how many people have left a certain team and then gone positive,” LeMond told Cyclingnews after hearing the news.
Stay classy Greg …