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.