The evidence against three time defending Tour de France champion Alberto Contador seems to be mounting. Last week we got the news that he had tested positive for a banned substance that may or may not have been a result of food poisoning. Today comes word of even more evidence, and this time it seems more damning.
The Associated Press is reporting that a source familiar with the situation says that a urine sample submitted by Contador during this year’s Tour contained eight times the amount of plastic in his bloodstream that is allowed by the Cycling Union. Those traces of plastic are an indication that the Spanish rider may have been undergoing blood transfusions to aid with recovery or to mask doping. That sample was taken on July 20th, one day before the sample that tested positive for small amounts of clenbuterol, the banned substance that was reported last week.
Contador is already suspended from competition while he awaits a ruling. Last week he was clinging to a story that said he ate tainted meat, which gave him food poisoning and put the clenbuterol into his system. While this seems like a dubious defense, there have been cases where those who have eaten bad meat have indeed had the chemical show up in their system. With this new revelation however, it seems that the evidence is mounting against a guy that has been the best cyclist in the world over the past few years, and seemed to be on his way to mythic status.
It’ll be months before all of this is sorted out, and it is possible, and probably likely, that he’ll be stripped of his Tour title for this year if these results are verified. I’m sure Andy Schleck, this year’s Tour runner-up isn’t all that excited to win a title in this manner. Worse yet, the sport doesn’t really need another champion going down in disgrace.
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