Monday 6 February 2012

Crash land ends the flight of the Contador

Andy Schleck in white (left) is now the 2010 Tour winner
The guy in the middle, in the Maillot Jaune is not the winner of the 2010 Tour de France.

After a long drawn out process it has been agreed that four days before this picture on the second rest day of the 2010 Tour traces of clenbuterol in Alberto Contador's sample. On 6 August while he and the rest of the peleton were resting after the tiring race he was informed of the positive result. He blamed it on a contaminated steak.

But today the Court of Arbitration in Sport have upheld the positive results and Contador is serving a 2 year ban from the 6 August 2010. It means he has been stripped of the 2010 Tour de France, his 2011 Giro d'Italia win and will miss this year's Tours and Giro as well as the Olympics. He will however, have served his ban in time to start the Vuelta a España.

He is not the second winner of the Tour after Floyd Landis in 2006 to be stripped of the Tour title following positive drug tests. He is one of the shrinking number of pro-cyclists who are testing positive, but his dismissal from the Tour shows that the sport does not play favourites.

So delayed congratulation to Andy Schleck for his win in the 2010 Tour de France and Michele Scarponi was his win in his native Giro last year as well as his elevation to winner of the Volta a Catalunya.

Schleck therefore has joined the ranks of François Faber (1909), Nicolas Frantz (1927, 28) and Charly Gaul (1958) in the list of Luxembourgeois winners for the Tour. Instead of being chief bridesmaid after rolling into Paris the last three years in second he now has the highest honour in cycling alhtough he missed the celebrations. Along with Jan Ullrich and ironically Alberto Contador his now one of the rare breed to have won the Tour de France while still eligible for, and therefore winning, the young rider category.

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