Alberto Contador has spoken about the suspension he has been handed after a failed drugs test, saying food contamination was to blame.
Earlier, ycling’s world governing body confirmed the provisional suspension of three-time Tour de France champion Contador.
The UCI released a statement at the world road championships in Geelong on Thursday afternoon, a couple of hours after Contador’s camp dropped the bombshell about his positive test.
Contador tested positive to the drug clenbuterol on July 21, the second rest day at the Tour de France.
But the UCI also implied the tests were not everything they could be.
“The concentration found by the laboratory and in consultation with WADA was estimataed at 50 picograms which is 400 times less than the antidoping laboratories accredited by WADA must be able to detect.”
He went on to beat Andy Schleck by only 39 seconds for his third Tour title.
Contador had also beaten Australian Cadel Evans to take out the Tour title in 2007.
The result comes at the worst possible time for the world road titles in Geelong.
Local publicity for the championships has already suffered because of a big week of AFL news and Saturday’s grand final replay.
A message sent by Contador’s press officer said the UCI informed him of the positive test on August 24.
“From the time of the first communication from the UCI, August 24, Alberto Contador alleged food contamination as the only possible explanation of what happened and has been turned over to the cyclist authorities since then in the confidence that this very serious problem could be clarified, which now is public,” the statement read.
The UCI said in its statement that the concentration of clenbuterol in Contador’s positive test was 400 times less than what World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratories must be able to detect.
“The rider … was nevertheless formally and provisionally suspended as is prescribed by the world anti-doping code,” the UCI statement read.
“The case required further scientific investigation before any conclusion could be drawn.
“The UCI continues working with the scientific support of WADA to analyse all the elements that are relevant to the case.
“This further investigation may take some time.”