MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Fans of Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador will don masks of their hero on Sunday and hold a symbolic bike ride in his home town to support him over his two-year doping ban, organisers said on Wednesday.
The town hall in Pinto, south of Madrid, said it was collaborating with Surbike, a cyclists’ association, in the demonstration under the slogan ‘We are all Alberto.’
“The event is open to participants of all ages and will take place on Sunday, February 12,” it said in a statement. Surbike published on its website a downloadable mask of Contador’s face, with holes to cut out for the eyes and mouth.
The march is scheduled to start at 12:00 pm local time (1100GMT) on Sunday in a park and wind up at the Plaza de la Constitucion, where Contador celebrated his three victories in the Tour de France.
The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday handed him a two-year ban after he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol. He says it was due to a contaminated steak eaten during the 2010 Tour de France.
Contador said on Tuesday that his lawyers were looking into a possible appeal, which must be lodged within 30 days.
“We will continue to fight until the end,” he told a packed news conference in Pinto.
The ban is backdated to August 2010, meaning Contador can return to competition on August 6, 2012. As well as ruling him out of this year’s Tour de France and the Olympic Games in London, he will be stripped of several wins, including his 2010 yellow jersey.