Evans: Sport leads drug fight

2012-02-07 07:47

Sydney - Reigning Tour de France champion Cadel Evans says the two-year doping ban for Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador shows the sport is at the forefront in the battle against drugs.

Contador received the sanction on Monday after testing positive for banned anabolic agent clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France and was stripped of his victory.

The 29-year-old Spaniard claimed he had ingested the substance by eating a contaminated steak, an explanation that satisfied Spanish cycling authorities but not the World Anti-Doping Agency and International Cycling Union (UCI).

Australia's Evans, who last July became his country's first winner of the Tour de France, said the sport was doing all it could to root out doping.

"Cycling has done more than enough to show it's doing the right things when it comes to the fight against drugs," Australian broadcaster SBS quoted him as saying.

"Now it's time for other sports to look to cycling and replicate what we do so the fight against drugs in sports can maybe be beaten one day across all sports."

Contador's win in 2010 was his third in the Tour de France and under UCI rules his suspension means he forfeits the victory to Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who finished as runner-up.

Evans said he had followed the Contador case from afar and trusted the authorities to do their job.

"I don't know all that goes on behind there and what all the real facts are and so on," he said on the sidelines of Monday's Laureus World Sports Awards in London, where he was nominated as sportsman of the year but lost out to tennis player Novak Djokovic.

"I go along and do my job and that's up for the authorities to decide.

"It was a case that dragged on for so long I had no idea what was going on and what was going to happen.

"I just read the newspapers like the rest of us."

Phil Anderson, the Australian cyclist who competed in 13 Tour de France races, said riders who had been racing against Contador would be feeling cheated.

"Everybody's striving for the top place on the podium and you're standing behind someone who's cheating, or found to have been cheating like that, you're really the biggest loser," he told Fox Sports News.

"It's very disappointing that you're fighting for three weeks in an epic battle such as the Tour of Italy and Tour de France and finally you land on second position and never get to enjoy that sweetness of a victory."

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Contador's suspension runs through to August 6, 2012, which means that he will be unable to take part in this year's Tour de France.