Contador slams doping rules
Madrid - Alberto Contador sees his proposed one-year ban as the result of anti-doping rules being "stuck in the 60s."
Contador could lose his 2010 Tour de France title and be left off the starting line in July after failing a doping test at last year's competition.
Spanish cycling authorities accept Contador unintentionally ingested clenbuterol after eating contaminated meat and have initially ruled Contador should banned but not for the standard two years.
Contador, a three-time Tour champion who has vowed to appeal any doping sanction, has until Feb. 9 to submit further evidence before the Spanish cycling federation's disciplinary committee delivers a final verdict.
"Today, advances in science are able to detect minute amounts of some banned substances which neither further athletic performance nor can possibly be taken voluntarily, except if they enter our bodies through ingested food - this is my case with clenbuterol," Contador said Friday in a statement posted on his official website. "But whereas scientific advances have arrived in the year 2011, the rule remains stuck in the 60s, hence my 'crime' and possible sanction."
Contador called the initial one-year ban "shameful" and said the episode has left him feeling like a "victim of the system."
"The rules governing elite sports nowadays detail a list of substances that are taken by some athletes to improve performance, leaving the rest of the competitors at a disadvantage, and one of those substances is clenbuterol," Contador added. "Only by combining scientific advances with modifications to the anti-doping rules will it be possible to talk about honest and fair sport, as I have always practiced it."
Once the Spanish cycling federation reaches its final verdict, that decision can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by Contador, the International Cycling Union or the World Anti-Doping Agency.