07 February 2012

Andy Schleck To Win 2010 Tour De France

Probably not the way he wanted to win the Tour.

In case you have not checked any sports news or cycling blogs in the past 24 hours, here is the news.  Here too.  And here.  And a link to the actual CAS decision banning/stripping Contador.

The panel did NOT credit the presence of "plasticizers" in Contador's blood as proof of blood doping, but also agreed with UCI and WADA that Contador's clenbuterol defense of tainted meat lacked factual basis.   Banned substance FOUND; explanation REJECTED.  End of story.

Reading the decision's summary of the WADA submission, it seems that WADA have a plausible theory of what happened (most likely he was blood doping and some of his stored blood had the clenbuterol in it).  Hard to know when it is a battle of the experts.  Contador has ridden for Liberty Seguros, Discovery and Astana ... he was implicated tangentially in some of the other doping scandals ... so he does not get the benefit of the doubt from me.  Nor from the UCI, WADA or CAS, it would seem.

Many of the headlines suggest this is "another blow" for cycling, a "dark day" etc.  I guess I feel just the opposite.  The sport is finally getting cleaned up -- as evidenced by the slower climbing speeds in the TdF last summer, as compared with the recent past when cyclists such as Pantani, Virenque, Armstrong, Landis, Hamilton, Rasmussen and Vinokourov dominated on the hills.

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