Sunday 8 December 2019

Cycling: Contador denies new claims

Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador denies that his positive test for a banned drug stems from blood doping rather than contaminated steak, his spokesman said yesterday.

It was reported that the German lab that found a tiny amount of the banned drug clenbuterol in Contador's urine sample also found plastic residues of the kind that might turn up after a transfusion of blood from a plastic bag. German TV station 'ARD' also reported that plastic traces were detected.

Contador spokesman Jacinto Vidarte revealed that the Spanish rider "categorically denies having a blood transfusion."

"There is nothing to that," he said. "It is a science fiction story."

Vidarte said no one at the International Cycling Union, which announced Contador's positive test on Thursday and his temporary ban, has told Contador that plastic residues were found. Vidarte said the World Anti-Doping Agency has not validated a method for detecting plastic from blood transfusion bags.

WADA director general David Howman, however, said that a method was "fully validated and has been used in the food industry for years."

Contador denied using clenbuterol at a press conference on Thursday and said the traces found in his urine came from beef he ate during this year's Tour.

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