Don’t go blaming no Spanish beef, wipe that smirk off your face; Contador stripped of 2010 Tour de France title, banned 2 years

Perpetually smirking Alberto Contador has been stripped of his 2010 Tour de France victory and banned from cycling for two years after the sport’s highest court found the Spanish cyclist guilty of doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the three-time Tour champion after rejecting his claim that his positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat.

CAS backdated Contador’s ban and he is eligible to return to competition on Aug. 6.

Contador blamed steak bought from a Basque producer for his high reading of clenbuterol, which is sometimes used by farmers to fatten up their livestock.

CAS said both the meat contamination theory and a blood transfusion scenario for the positive test were “possible” but “equally unlikely.”

“The Panel found that there were no established facts that would elevate the possibility of meat contamination to an event that could have occurred on a balance of probabilities,” CAS said. “Unlike certain other countries, notably outside Europe, Spain is not known to have a contamination problem with clenbuterol in meat. Furthermore, no other cases of athletes having tested positive to clenbuterol allegedly in connection with the consumption of Spanish meat are known.”

Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who finished second at the 2010 Tour, stands to be elevated to victory.

Cyclist Contador says clenbuterol came from contaminated meat, not doping

Blame it on the steak.

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador went to sport’s highest court on Monday to argue his case that contaminated meat caused his positive drug test at the 2010 Tour de France.

Contador did not speak to reporters as he arrived at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a four-day hearing into one of the most scrutinized doping cases of recent years.

Contador’s legal team will argue that a contaminated steak he ate on a rest day in the Pyrenees caused his positive test for clenbuterol, a banned anabolic agent.

If found guilty of doping, Contador can expect to receive a two-year ban and be stripped of his 2010 Tour title and his 2011 Giro d’Italia victory.

About 20 witnesses are expected to appear at the hearing, including the Spanish butcher who sold the steak, a polygraph expert and anti-doping scientists.

The three-man arbitration panel, composed of Israeli chairman Efraim Barak, German law professor Ulrich Haas and Geneva-based lawyer Quentin Byrne-Sutton, is likely to issue its verdict in January.

Cyclist positive for clenbuterol, claims contamination

Another cyclist has been caught eating at the Mark McGwire café and another is blaming Mexican meat for testing positive for clenbuterol.

The Danish cycling federation Tuesday revealed that Philip Nielsen, 23 (right, exactly as shown), of the continental Concordia team, tested positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 Vuelta a Mexico.

Nielsen won stage 8 of the Mexican tour in April and both A and B samples have come back positive. His case now is making its way through the Danish disciplinary process.

Nielsen claims he was not doping, but did offer an excuse of how the banned product found its way into his system.

Italian Alessandro Colo also tested positive, but he claimed that his test was triggered by eating contaminated meat in Mexico.

The Nielsen case comes as Spanish officials consider what to do with Alberto douchebag Contador (left), who is facing a two-year ban and disqualification of his Tour de France crown after he tested positive for the substance en route to winning last year’s Tour.

Contador’s ‘contaminated meat’ excuse rejected

For those who care about the doped up world of cycling, the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has found no evidence to support Alberto Contador’s claim that contaminated meat was responsible for his positive doping test.

Sapa-AFP reports the Tour de France champion was provisionally suspended following a positive test for clenbuterol, a banned weight loss/muscle-building drug.

The Spanish rider has claimed that the positive result, which followed a doping test during the Tour de France in July, was the result of eating contaminated meat.

But a report by WADA obtained by the newspaper El Pais said its experts visited the butcher’s shop in northern Spain where the meat was purchased and the slaughterhouse that supplies it, and found no evidence of clenbuterol in any of its products.

"None of the inspections, none of the tests on samples of meat found traces of clenbuterol, a banned drug used to fatten cattle quickly," El Pais said.

The report also cited a European Union study from 2008 in which experts tested 300,000 meat samples but found evidence of the possible use of clenbutorol in only one of those.

"Obviously, farmers who cheat will never slaughter their illegally fattened cattle until about 20 days after the last dose of clenbuterol for two reasons: to avoid being caught by checks on the meat and to allow the anabolic steriod to have its full fattening-up effect," the WADA report said, according to El Pais.

If suspended for two years, the 27-year-old has threatened to quit the sport.


Tour de France winner Contador tests positive for clenbuterol

For years, I had a picture of Olympic cycling from 1976 in Montreal on my bedroom wall. I tore down bikes and rebuilt them. I still have fantasies of regularly cycling again (the bike trailer with the kid is helping).

As a sport, cycling seems hopeless with all the doping. While investigators are stepping up their case against Lance Armstrong, three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, tested positive for clenbuterol during the Tour.

The veterinarians in the readership know clenbuterol is a non-steroidal β2 adrenergic agonist[1] with some structural and pharmacological similarities to epinephrine and salbutamol, but its effects are more potent and longer-lasting as a stimulant and thermogenic drug. It causes an increase in aerobic capacity, central nervous system stimulation, and an increase in blood pressure and oxygen transportation. It increases the rate at which fats are metabolized, simultaneously increasing the body’s BMR. It is commonly used for smooth muscle relaxant properties. This means that it is a bronchodilator and tocolytic. It is usually used in dosages anywhere from 20-60 micrograms a day when prescribed. A dose of about 120 μg should never be exceeded in a day[citation needed]. It is also prescribed for treatment of horses; however, equestrian usage is usually the liquid form of clenbuterol. Clenbuterol is also a sympathomimetic in the peripheral nervous system.

Clenbuterol is used worldwide for the treatment of allergic respiratory disease in horses, as it is a bronchodilator. A common trade name is Ventipulmin. Particularly in North America it is also known by the slang term ‘bute.’ It can be used both orally and intravenously. It is also a non-steroidal anabolic and metabolism accelerator, through a mechanism not well understood. Its ability to increase the muscle-to-fat body ratio makes its illegal use in livestock popular to obtain leaner meats.

As of fall, 2006, clenbuterol is not an ingredient of any therapeutic drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration[2] and is now banned for IOC-tested athletes.

Fantasy cycling and fantasy eating during the Tour de France

I’ve been following the Tour de France since 2002 when I discovered my former classmate (and 4th grade crush) Levi Leipheimer was competing. Last year I boycotted the race when team Astana was not allowed in the Tour, but this year I kicked it into high gear and even started playing fantasy cycling. (Nerdy, I know.) Leipheimer broke his wrist on Thursday, and, unfortunately, had to leave the race. But his teammates race on, and racing requires amazing sustenance.

According to the New York Times article, “Five-star tour cuisine for guys who eat and ride” the men on the tour require 5000 to 8000 calories a day.

Eating that much demands enticement and Team Garmin-Slipstream (the team of my fantasy cyclists Farrar, Wiggins and Zabriskie) has its own chef, American Sean Fowler. Fowler works with the team’s physiologist to keep the guys feeling good and their bowels running smoothly. Juliet Macur writes:

Every day at the Tour, Fowler cooks exclusively for Garmin’s nine riders, to the chagrin of team management. (…)

On a typical morning, they will gather their cooking gear and take it to the motor home in which they follow the race. They make sure to arrive early at the team’s next hotel, to inspect the kitchen.

If it is not up to Sean Fowler’s standards for cleanliness, which has happened a few times at this Tour, he will cook in the motor home. He takes precautions to keep the riders safe from food poisoning or other gastrointestinal problems, which could be devastating to their performance. In his motor home, he wields utensils and pots and pans like a careful samurai because the space is cramped.

Although Leipheimer’s out, as of this morning my fantasy team still has four of the top ten riders. Let’s hope none of the others are injured or downed with foodborne illness.