Cycling

Contador vows to fight ban

2011-01-28 18:09
Alberto Contador (File)

Puigpunyent - Tour de France champion Alberto Contador plans to appeal against the provisional one-year ban handed down to him by the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) for failing a doping test.

"I do not agree with the (RFEC's preliminary) resolution at all," an emotional Contador told a news conference on Friday, adding that he had no plans to retire from cycling as he had threatened to do if he was punished.

"You have to remember this is just a proposal and I will work as hard as I can to change it," he said.

"But if that does not happen I'll appeal wherever I need to to defend my innocence to the last."

The 28-year-old Spaniard has 10 days to appeal the federation's initial decision to ban him for a year, communicated to the rider on Wednesday, before a final verdict is reached.

The triple Tour winner also faces being stripped of his 2010 title.

Asked whether he planned to follow through on his threat to quit, Contador said the situation had changed.

"Now it's pretty different. A lot of time has past. My emotions have changed and I have felt the huge support of my team," he said.

"But more than anything I have also felt the great support of the fans who have told me not to give up cycling. Now I have changed my mind."

Contador has the possibility of taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), although RFEC president Juan Carlos Castano has warned that might be counterproductive.

He has been suspended provisionally since August after testing positive for a small amount of the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol during last year's Tour.

He has denied deliberate wrongdoing, saying the failed test was due to contaminated meat. He also criticised the testing regime, saying on Friday it needed updating or there would be more cases of innocent athletes being punished.

He said he was not thinking about this year's Tour and was focusing on trying to clear his name.

"For now I am only thinking about finding a solution to this case," he said.

"Of course, to be at the start of the next Tour is something that motivates me a lot. But it's not something that is too important for me right now."

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