As expected, the Spanish Cycling Federation panel convened to rule on Alberto Contador’s positive test for clenbuterol today overturned its initial recommendation for a one-year ban, and has instead cleared him of all charges.
I say “as expected” because Spanish media had for the better part of a week been predicting this would be the case, because Contador himself is not only cleared to start the Volta Algarve tomorrow but, lo and behold, he’s actually already in Portugal for it and registered, and because Contador and his lawyer reportedly taped a media interview saying they were “very content” with the RFEC’s decision … two hours before the decision was announced.
After reading a lot of articles and comments yesterday, I was actually leaning towards the concept of Contador possibly being clean. I don't know if he had a transfusion, and I don't know how the Clen got in his system. HOWEVER... After doing the SUFFERFEST Angels this morning and watching him race (and bonk), I remembered a few things that always bothered me.
Contador seems to peak for every race. Most of the other cyclists peak for a few races, but are in bad form for others.
And this: Note that most of the other high achievers have either admitted doping, or have been caught/suspected.
The 2010 TDF numbers are actually pretty realistic, which leads me to believe that Contador was very likely doping before (Puerto, etc), and actually may have been a little bit clean in 2010. My impression of the Chaingate stage was that Contador was struggling a bit, and Andy would have dropped him had he not dropped himself. If a transfusion was involved, this would likely be the impetus from Contador's side. The thought of another big climb against someone that put the hurt on you would not be appetizing. The Science of Sport numbers on the Tourmalet seem to indicate that Andy might actually be clean, just with a great kick to separate.
Anyway, thought it was pretty interesting, better than the same old stuff I've been reading for the past few weeks.