Pierre Bordry, the former president of the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) who stepped down last month, said there were rumors about Alberto Contador since the “end of July.”
Speaking on French radio, Bordry said it doesn’t matter how low the levels of the banned substance Clenbuterol that were found in Contador’s system. Bordry said there will be a likely ban despite the small amount, 40 times less than the level laboratories are required to detect.
“It doesn’t matter how small the quantity is. Clenbuterol is on the banned list,” Bordry told RTL radio. “Contador can do what he wants to make a defense, if it had entered his system one way or another, but he cannot avoid that it is a banned substance.”
Bordry said there were rumors of a Contador doping positive since the end of July, when Contador won a hard-fought battle against Andy Schleck to win his third Tour de France crown in four years.
Contador evidently heard of the failed doping control in August and only commented once the UCI temporarily suspended him Thursday. Contador strongly denied taking any banned substances and suggested that the product could have entered his system from contaminated meat that he claims came from Spain.
“Now it’s official, but now we have to wait to see what WADA reports on what product it is and how it got into his system,” Bordry continued. “It’s hard to believe (Contador’s beef argument), but you never know what can happen.”
Bordry stepped down from the head of the French anti-doping agency after a strong tenure that saw him lock horns with seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong. French labs claim they proved that Armstrong tested positive for EPO during the 1999 Tour, a charge that Armstrong strongly denies.
Bordry said the Contador case is another setback for cycling and criticized the lack of resources that anti-doping officials have to take on the battle of fighting cheating in sport.
“It’s serious. The situation needs to be clarified. A rider has the right to defend themselves, to explain how and why something. Without a doubt, it’s unfortunate,” he said. “The budget of the AFLD is about 8 million euros a year. That’s the budget of one team in the Tour de France. That’s ridiculous.”