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The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland has ruled that the winner of the 2010 Tour de France, Alberto Contador, is guilty of doping. The case centered on the source of some allegedly tainted steaks that Contador said he ate during the event.
Contador, a three-time winner of the event, has been stripped of his victory in the 2010 race, as well as 12 other victories since then, The New York Times reports. Only two Tour de France winners since 1995 have not become involved in controversies over performance-enhancing drugs, the newspaper notes.
During the 2010 Tour de France, Contador tested positive for clenbuterol, a weight-loss and muscle-building drug. Some farmers give the drug to cattle and swine to improve their market value, and Contador said he ate some of this meat. However, he was unable to produce a sample of the veal tenderloin he said was tainted with the drug. There was also no evidence the calf had been given the drug.
The court concluded that while his claim was possible, it was not substantiated. Contador was banned from racing for two years, a punishment applied retroactively. He can race again August 5, after this year’s Tour de France.
“This is a sad day for our sport,” Pat McQuaid, President of the International Cycling Union, the sport’s governing body, said in a statement. “Some may think of it as a victory, but that is not at all the case. There are no winners when it comes to the issue of doping: every case, irrespective of its characteristics, is always a case too many.”