Contador cleared of doping charge

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 12:58 PM ET

MADRID, Spain -- Alberto Contador was cleared Tuesday of his doping charge by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC), which reversed an earlier decision to ban the Tour de France champion for a year.

Contador, in a statement through his Saxo Bank-SunGard team, said he was relieved and happy about the ruling.

"It has been some very stressful months for me, but throughout the case I have been totally available for all inquiries in relation to my case, and all the way through I have spoken in accordance with the truth," Contador said.

"To both the team and the authorities I have explained, that I never cheated or deliberately took a banned substance."

The three-time Tour de France champion tested positive for clenbuterol in a urine sample taken last July 21st, the second rest day. Contador maintained the positive test was due to food contamination.

Riding for Astana, Contador went on to win the race, beating Andy Schleck of Luxembourg by 39 seconds.

The owner of Contador's current team said Tuesday's decision by the RFEC was proof that the authorities did not find ground for believing that Contador committed a doping offense.

But Bjarne Riis was also aware that the overturned ban could be appealed by the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency.

"I'm obviously happy on behalf of Alberto and the team. We take note of this decision and fully respect it, but we're also sensitive to the fact that the parties of this case still have the right to appeal this decision," Riis said in a statement.

"I really want to take this opportunity to emphasize again that nothing in our values has changed. We're still a team that strongly condemns all kind of cheating, including doping. But we will at times also be a fair team. It is of great importance that we don't equate conscious cheating and an accidental intake of a banned substance."


Photos