Contador to Appeal, Says He’s a “Victim”


Photo by damian_hunt courtesy of Flickr

Alberto Contador plans to appeal any suspension for doping, the Tour de France champion said Friday, adding that he feels like a “victim of the system.” According to ESPN Cycling, the Spanish rider, speaking at a news conference in Mallorca, said that he would defend his innocence until the end. The announcement comes two days after Spanish cycling officials proposed a one-year ban for his positive clenbuterol test.

Contador blames the positive result on contaminated meat, a defense the Spanish cycling federation accepted before recommending a reduced ban of one year rather than the standard two years. Contador would also be striped of his 2010 Tour title. He has until February 9 to present further evidence in his defense before a final decision is made.

“They are recognizing that I'm innocent and then they give me a one-year ban,” Contador said. “I can't explain that. I can't defend that. I can't do anything more.”

The three-time Tour winner plans to do all he can to change the rule on clenbuterol. “I'm conscious of the proposed resolution but this is about honor,” he said. “What hurts the most is that all of the scientists know I'm innocent. And this hurts me. This is sad. Very sad.”

–Michael Webster