CAS will uphold UCI ban on Contador
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will have no choice to uphold the appeal of the Union Cycliste International (UCI) against the Spanish cycling federation’s (RFEC) to overturn a ban on the cyclist for ingesting Clenbuterol. It doesn’t matter that Contador didn’t intend to ingest the substance or enhance his performance, which is reportedly the defence that his lawyer will offer when the case comes before the CAS. In fact, that defence will not help Contador at all.
As I pointed out in a news article written at the time of Contador’s positive ‘A’ sample in October last year: ‘Clenbuterol is listed as a prohibited substance on WADA's Prohibited List. Under UCI rules, use of a prohibited substance carries a two-year ban (para. 293), unless the cyclist can provide evidence that the substance entered his body accidentally and was not intended to enhance performance (para. 295).’ Contador’s defence team will find it very hard to prove that he ingested clenbuterol through contaminated meat. For one thing, Contador consumed the meat so no evidence of it exists. Clenbuterol’s use in animal feed is banned by the European Union and although it is widely accepted that it is still illegally used in some countries, finding proof of that will be near impossible, especially given the media coverage that the Contador case has received.
According to the Telegraph’s article, however, that is not the defence that Contador’s legal team will pursue. They will attempt to argue that Contador didn’t intend to ingest the substance or enhance his performance. It is worth pointing out here that the CAS is not a court of law – it only serves to ascertain whether the rules of sporting bodies have been correctly followed, not whether the rules are just and fair. In this case, the UCI’s rules have been correctly followed.