Contador suspended by UCI

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:27 AM ET

PINTO, Spain -- Three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador said Thursday his positive test for clenbuterol during cycling's most prestigious event this past July was a case of food contamination.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) issued a release Thursday saying that Contador tested positive for the banned substance in a sample taken on July 21. A 'B' sample confirmed the initial result and despite a "very small concentration" of the substance, the UCI suspended Contador.

Contador's press officer first issued a statement Thursday, regarding the positive test. The Spaniard then held a press conference and said such a small amount clenbuterol could only have come from contaminated food and would not have had an effect on his performance.

"It's such a minimal amount that it's only possible to come from a food contamination," Contador was quoted as saying. "And in terms of performance it would not be any use at all -- any expert can confirm this."

The UCI contacted Contador about the positive test on Aug. 24 and the rider met with the organization two days later.

Contador's positive test came on the second rest day of the Tour and one day before the grueling ride to the top of the Col du Tourmalet. Contador went on to win the Tour by 39 seconds over Andy Schleck.

Contador, who also won the 2007 and 2009 Tours, has signed on to ride for the Saxo Bank cycling team after leaving Astana.


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