Contador Stripped of 2010 Tour de France Victory

For the two or three people here who are cycling geeks like me, Contador has joined Floyd Landis...

Alberto Contador received the worst possible news Monday: a two-year ban and the loss of his 2010 Tour de France crown as well as all results in 2011 and 2012.

Contador’s ban is back-dated and discounted for time during his provisional ban, meaning he will be able to return to competition on August 6.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down the long-awaited ruling in the Spaniard’s long-running clenbuterol case as promised Monday (see statement below).

Contador becomes the second rider in Tour history to have his victory taken away for a doping violation – Floyd Landis was stripped of the 2006 Tour win after testing positive for synthetic testosterone.

Contador insists traces of clenbuterol entered his system after he ate contaminated steaks.

Hell, I'm so ambivalent about all of this. On one hand, I'm glad cycling is fanatical about policing PEDs. On the other hand, its popularity is declining because of the cheating that's being exposed while other drug-addled sports like football are enjoying massive success even though it's loaded with all varieties of fakery.

Either way, if Contador deliberately used clenbuterol as a PED, the punishment suits the crime. I should note, however, that I'm not a huge Contador fan and I've long suspected that he was cheating. So I've been kind of waiting for this. During an attack in the Pyrenees in 2009, he totally dusted teammate Lance Armstrong and the rest of the world's best climbers, then went on to beat Fabian Cancellara in the final time trial. You just don't do that. It was superhuman. I couldn't help but suspect that he was cheating. A year later, he was caught.

Ultimately, I think professional cycling will be just fine. But it looks really, really crooked right now.

Thank you for indulging me. Back to important stuffs.

Adding... Regarding my ambivalence, doping is a blight and it's a crime against anyone who chooses to be clean. Then again, I can't help but to love scenes like this:

These guys were loaded with PEDs, but you can't argue with the pulse-pounding excitement of that. Fuck it. I'm going for a ride.

Also... Here's Contador attacking Armstrong on the Verbier in 2009.

  • KateR1

    Another problem here is the circus that is the organization (disorganization?) of the sport of cycling. All the national cycling groups make up their rules as they wish, to benefit their own country’s riders and punish outsiders (think of the Italian ban on Valverde that kept him out of the 2009 Tour). Cycling needs consistent, international rules and oversight to bring more fairness and timeliness to the sport.

  • JMAshby

    I don’t view cycling as corrupt, because I’m sure there’s users and abusers in every single professional sport. Even Olympians are occasionally caught juicing.

    It may be more institutional in some sports than in others, but cases can be found in each one.

    You can’t narrow it down to just the professional level though, because this starts long before they reach that point. It starts at the high school level.

    Gotta look good for those recruiters!

    • MrDHalen

      A few injections and you could earn millions. If you get caught and they shame you from the sport, just go buy a small island and live out the rest of your years in secluded bliss.

  • MrDHalen

    They keep catching other guys, but have never caught Armstrong. Does this mean he was truly clean?

    • Bob Cesca

      It means he’s truly “too big to fail.” Imagine the impact if suddenly an NFL team with numerous Super Bowl victories — let’s say the Steelers — were stripped of all their titles. The sport would implode, and it’s much stronger than cycling in terms of money and fan support. If Lance goes down, not only would the sport suffer greatly, but there are also millions of cancer patients and survivors who look to Lance for inspiration and as a role model.

      • MrDHalen

        Good point.

  • Robert

    I am not a huge cycling fan, but watch it from a distance. I used to bike a lot and managed a bike shop in college. What are your thoughts about the Armstrong doping violations? Especially those made by LeMond? I know a criminal inquiry was recently dropped.

    • Bob Cesca

      At the very least, I think Lance used EPO during his cancer recovery (it’s a common treatment) and I think he used blood transfusions during his Tour victories. He might’ve used steroid during his pre-cancer years. But there aren’t any positive tests, so all of this is speculation.

      As for LeMond, I think he’s a very paranoid bitter man. He would have been a five-timer if EPO hadn’t become commonplace in the ’90s. So he’s vindictive about doping.