Alberto Contador tests positive for clenbuterol

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File this under “Boom!”

Alberto Contador has revealed he has failed an anti-doping test for the banned substance clenbuterol during this year’s Tour de France.

A message issued by Contador’s personal press officer said Contador had been a victim of food contamination and would give a press conference in his home town of Pinto, near Madrid at mid-day on Thursday.

“Alberto Contador is affected by a doping control at the last Tour de France on July 21, where it was found the substance clenbuterol,” the automatically translated message reads.

The Velonews twitter feed tells me there will be a press conference shortly. By Contador. Yeah. I’m not so much interested in what he has to say. You’ve no idea how the drug got in your body, it must have been tainted food, you are not a cheat, you are above reproach…

I am only interested in what the UCI will do. Remember, they stripped Landis of his title. It could well happen again.

Could this mean a yellow jersey for Andy Schleck?

Update: As mentioned in the comment section, the amount of clenbuterol in Contador’s urine sample has been reported to be 400 times below the actionable limit.

The UCI says a lab in Germany found clenbuterol in Contador’s urine sample on July 21 at the Tour de France. But the amount was only 50 picograms, which the UCI says “is 400 time(s) less than what the antidoping laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s must be able to detect.”

Game changer?

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

54 Replies to “Alberto Contador tests positive for clenbuterol”

  1. Clenbuterol is a non-steroidal ?2 adrenergic agonist[1] with some structural and pharmacological similarities to epinephrine and salbutamol, but its effects are more potent and longer-lasting as a stimulant and thermogenic drug. It causes an increase in aerobic capacity, central nervous system stimulation, and an increase in blood pressure and oxygen transportation. It increases the rate at which fats are metabolized, simultaneously increasing the body’s BMR. It is commonly used for smooth muscle relaxant properties. This means that it is a bronchodilator and tocolytic. It is usually used in dosages anywhere from 20-60 micrograms a day when prescribed. A dose of about 120 ?g should never be exceeded in a day[citation needed]. It is also prescribed for treatment of horses; however, equestrian usage is usually the liquid form of clenbuterol. Clenbuterol is also a sympathomimetic in the peripheral nervous system.

  2. “A message issued by Contador’s personal press officer said Contador had been a victim of food contamination and would give a press conference in his home town of Pinto, near Madrid at mid-day on Thursday.”

    Always the victim these guys… Just like Landis drink was spiked.

    My cheque book is ready for you Contador… Won’t be long until you ask for your $1 million dollars to prove your innocence.

  3. Like Jonny, I am interested how the UCI will handle this. Will they protect their current “golden boy”?

    What’cha gonna do, Riis?

    I also wonder if WADA will finally get Alberto for manipulating his blood these last few years. Clenbuterol is not the big picture – blood manipulation provides the big gains. Like Floyd with the testosterone. It was his blood infusions that really kicked, but that was never found in testing.

    Trivial note: this year, Radio Shack’s Chinese rider, Fuyu Li, was sent packing for 2 years for clenbuterol.

  4. So its been a while since I worked in a lab, and I don’t know what ‘Berto scored when he tested positive, but he would have had to ingest a non-trivial amount of clenbuterol in order to test positive. What I find interesting is that he was notified on August 23rd, and here it is September 29th. I hate conspiracy theorists in general, but its hard to believe he wasn’t given a bit of a grace period in order to get his legal/defense house in order.

  5. Lance did it….

    Anyway, it is weird when these guys get caught for these old style drugs. It happened a bunch a few years ago in track with some 1970’s era steroids. Either they’re really stupid or their masking agents fail. I have to believe the story is more complicated. I don’t have to believe that Alberto is innocent, though.

  6. These homos test positive and they want us to treat it like criminal defense. It is gay-ass cycling, not a fundamental right. Guess what mother-fucker? The shit is banned, no title for you. Come back and play in 2 years!

  7. and that is the reason why everyone from Saxo left the house like there was a fire alarm….. sweet JC! let’s see who else gets pop.

  8. Contador is set to announce his positive test is the direct result of a spiked Jack Daniels bottle that some dirty biker made him drink at Interbike!

  9. I hate to be the turd in the punch bowl, but it’s ABSOLUTELY possible that a 50 ppt (trillion!) blood level could be achieved by eating meat that had been treated with the compound. Most people have 20 times more bisphenol A in their blood as a background level due to environmental exposure than AC tested for in clenbuterol. I can’t imagine that the ridiculously minute amounts of drug in his blood would be pharmaceutically significant.

    That said, I’m i) as jaded as everyone else, and ii) not an expert in the field; I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t an accident.


    God only knows what a random lab would find in our piss considering the shit we ingest. Funny how you jock sniffers relish in every odd accusation of cheating…guilty until proven otherwise. Now you bums love Landis, when he says he was epo doping in the Tour and STILL claims that the testosterone was a false positive. WTF?! You believe him AND the integrity of the lab? Please.

    Early word out of France is that it was a trace amount and it only popped up on 1 test, and he was tested every day. So, they are taking it slow. There is precedent on this drug being a food contaminant, too. It is often used in livestock feed to produce leaner cuts of meat.

    I would suppose, however, that other teammates tested that day would test poz, too (if they were tested…if the team shares a menu every day). This is complicated. There will be an appeal. So, chill.

    But you won’t…in the eyes of accusers, you all believe anyone with success must be doped. Everyone except those pure, clean warriors of the 1980s peloton. Yeah…today’s riders should be as clean and pure as those heroes. Today’s heroes are dirty. Yesterday’s are saintly saints.

    If science shows this is poz, and we believe the methods, then he’ll fall like so many others. But this lame ‘gotcha’ shit is old. And it’s even lamer hearing the chatter at the line that everyone who is strong or got strong is doped. It’s usually the fat fuck off the back chattering away. Test. Test prolifically. Question the test and retest. And keep improving the methods of testing.

    Beyond that, spare me the hypocrisy. Go ride your bike.

  11. Easy son, easy. Speaking for myself, I don’t pretend for a minute anyone out of the 80’s (or 70’s or 90’s) was clean like Sweet Baby Jesus. And, furthermore, I think Landis should be applauded for finally coming clean. Same with Virenque. Took both of those cats years to admit what they did. In the end, they did. And that is where my focus is.

    One more thing: I don’t put much stock in Landis claiming he wasn’t hot air drying testosterone patches on his nuts like a champ.

  12. Was just starting to warm to the little Spanish weirdo, cycling doesn’t need this. Bring on the wave of expert analysis and salgging of cycling by clueless dicks in the media.

  13. A GC big guy coming up + in real time, not ex post, ala Alejandro, is great. See you in two years! Fucker will still be in his 20s, though.

    A and B sample positive for substance. But it seems that the level was quite low. Does this horse pill have a threshold level in UCI purview, or is it zero tolerance w/o a medical exemption?

  14. His number was .05 for the Clen. Fuyu Li (Radio Smack) tested positive for Clen earlier is the year. Banned for 2 years. His number? .05!!
    And getting it from food is horseshit, unless he was eating completely alone for 23 days in July. Those guys eat the same things, at the same times. If the food was suspect, they’d all be positive.

    Bye Bye Bertie! Oh, and that loud FUUUUUUCCCK you heard in the distance…that was was Riis!

  15. Can’t say I’m surprised. Nothing really does surprise me in terms of pro cycling anymore really. This is just another one of, “I’m SHOCKED that there’s doping going on in here. SHOCKED!!”

    Come on Alberto, hand that jersey and cup over to Schleck.

  16. Possibly a tainted blood transfusion?
    Or just meat bought all thevway from spain and vino ate earlier?
    Probably never know, but media already saying it casts a cloud over the world champs.

  17. Just read the Velonews article, call me a tard but I think I believe Contador. I am sure we will hear much much more about this. I question if such a small amount would have an affect on his performance.

  18. While we are on the subject of doping… I am going to look dope in my new DC cycling jersey. Can’t wait!

  19. How quick to judge. Me love me some DC, but those of you who already have Bertie bagged and tagged, slow the f*ck down. A lot of info remains to be seen.

  20. clenbuterol isn’t an accident. Little else needs to be seen.

    DeeJayBee, your goods are on the way.

  21. How many ways did AC want to fuck Schleck over?

    Anyone left giving the benefit of the doubt to racers is mental.

  22. The whole “amount was 50 picograms” thing is getting thrown around way to loosely by the press. That’s actually the amount per milliliter of piss, not the total dose. Even if you assume that the test was taken in the window of maximum excretion (which is tight, and right around 24hrs), it was a rest day. The day when everyone is chugging massive amounts of water, if not hooked up to IVs. It sounds like a tiny number, but it’s in no way indicative of how much was ingested or when/how often.

    Not that it matters. CAS has a history of denying accidental doping claims.

  23. it’s not 400x under the “actionable limit” … it is 400x less than the WADA certification precision level for the laboratory to get accredited

  24. I think the only way this goes away is if he had a medical exemption for asthma, which he’s not claiming. The first hit on a search for clenbuterol is a site promoting it’s use as a body building and doping agent.

    That said, the DEA site does mention people getting sick from tainted meat in Europe:

    What makes me suspicious is that they immediately went for this defense. How did they know? It’s not, “we think it was from meat from Spain.” They are saying that it WAS, which makes me think they had this line of defense pre-planned. Unless they can track the contamination to a specific farm, AC is screwed.

  25. @ el jefe: After all of Tyler and Floyd’s dicking around with what “might” have caused their positives, I don’t blame him for circling the wagons and being emphatic about his defense. It’s just good damage control.

  26. …kinda nice that ol’ floyd the bagger will have some company on that very ‘special’ tour de france list…

    …so, andy…we already know you ‘don’t want the jersey this way’ but hell, amigo, yer ol’ pal el pistelero tried to fuck you over six ways from sunday in july, so wear it, smile & show ’em what ya got next summer…

  27. From the AP:

    Michael Audran, a doping expert who works closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency, said the amount of clenbuterol found in Contador’s samples was so small it is unlikely the cyclist was abusing the drug. He said the contamination theory is the only possible explanation for the positive result.

    Other experts said the doping tests need to be refined to include a threshold amount for clenbuterol, not simply whether or not the drug is present.

    “The quantity is the key to judging whether it was a case of possible doping or contaminated meat,” said Giuseppe Banfi, a sports biochemistry expert at the University of Milan. “We don’t have the proper parameters right now to know if this was illicit use.”

    He said that if Contador was doping with clenbuterol, authorities likely would have found more than one positive test result to show systemic drug abuse.

    “WADA needs to set a detection limit (for clenbuterol), that is fundamental to defining if it is illicit use or an accidental finding,” Banfi said.

    Clenbuterol remains in the body for more than a day after it is ingested. The drug can be detected via hair and urine analysis.

  28. @Wendel: This is a great time to start redefining the rules — after numerous riders have been banned for a couple of years for the exact same infraction…

  29. also, some theories are that the drug was introduced after his blood transfusion — but who am I to throw stones?

  30. …the schleck kids are adding some class to the pelican next season…

    …mercedes-benz luxembourg is their new vehicle sponsor…

    …team cars, vans, trucks & pro-tour buses…

  31. …back to our (your)(i’m not a fan) golden boy…

    …it’s those oh-so-thorough germans sprechen-ing again…

    “There are other, very, very incriminating suspicious facts against Contador. Other values have appeared that are ten times over the higher value from so-called plasticizers [such as di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) – ed.] which are used in blood bags. These values were measured one day before the positive dope control. These blood bag softener values could indicate that autologous blood doping may have been performed.”

    …’berto sez “ummm…it musta been when i was eating my samiches on that last stage…ya, that’s it, i ‘member now…i ate part of the plastic bag…ya, ya, fer sure, that’s it…& they were tainted meat samiches as well, senor mcquaid…you understand, si ???”