News outlets are reporting that Alberto Contador has been given a (retroactive) 2 year suspension by the Court of Arbitration for Sport over his positive test for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France.
This is long-overdue news, as the testing happened 18 months ago. The ruling by the court is the result of an appeal by the UCI (International Cycling Union) after the Spanish cycling authorities deemed the test results “not doping”. Contador will not participate in racing this year until his suspension ends in August. He’ll also be stripped of his Tour de France win from 2010.
Interestingly, cycling legend Eddy Merckx has described the ban as “excessive”. In an interview on the BBC News website, he mentioned that “it is bad for cycling”. Yeah, really? Well, drugs in cycling is bad for cycling. I applaud the heavy-handed approach taken by the UCI and the Court of Arbitration. It is important for the sport that all participants are clean and compete using only their natural ability, honed through training, not doping.