Alberto Contador broke a month’s silence late Thursday evening both to criticise his current team, Astana, for their failure to support him during the clenbuterol case and also to confirm that he may well not continue racing if he receives a full two-year ban.

Speaking on Spanish television, Contador said “Everybody behaves in different ways and Astana have not shown me enough respect.”

“In the last few years I’ve worked my finger to the bone for the team, winning them two Tours, a Giro and a Vuelta.”

“But they weren’t even capable of bringing out a four-line press release to deny something allegedly said by somebody in their team.” – a reference to the Belgian magazine Humo, and its article published in October, which claimed to interview an un-named Astana member of staff accusing Contador of doping.

“It’s a pity I wasn’t in a team like Saxo Bank last year. I’d have got a lot more support,” Contador concluded.

Asked if he would retire if he was suspended for two years, Contador replied, “I’m only thinking about everything being resolved  favourably.”

“It’s too soon to go into everything in detail, but I can’t assure you that I would continue if I was suspended for two full years.”

Contador also confirmed that he will be attending Saxo Bank’s first training camp for 2011, which is due to start this Sunday in the Canary Islands.

“It’s good for everybody. All 24 riders in the team will be together and these training camps are good to form a team.”

Today (Friday) is a crucial day in the Spanish Cycling Federation’s disciplinary hearing against Contador. His lawyers will present his defense to the committee overseeing the case, a defense which remains 100 percent based on the argument that he ate contaminated meat.

Asked if he had any comment on the criticisms made of him recently by some Spanish agricultural associations  – although he has received the support of others – Contador said simply “the only thing I want to say is that my case is a case of contaminated foodstuffs, bought in a Spanish shop.”

Related links

WADA dismisses Contador’s clenbuterol claims

Contador welcomes disciplinary hearing into clenbuterol case

Contador strengthens defence team in clenbuterol case

What next for Contador?

Spain’s sports minister urges patience in Contador case

Saxo Bank to continue team sponsorship with or without Contador

Riis has a plan B is Contador is banned

How does clenbuterol testing work

Contador considers quitting cycling due to doping scandal

Tension rises over Contador’s clenbuterol case

Contador case splits experts’ opinions

Alberto Contador: The clenbuterol, the beef excuse and traces of plastic

Spanish authorities investigate source of Contador’s mystery meat

McQuaid quiet on Contador case but says Spain can do more

Did Contador have a transfusion during the Tour?

Contador points finger at imported meat for clenbuterol positive

Contador tests positive for clenbuterol says governing body

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  • Aiko

    You guys are too harsh.

    If I were in the same position as him, I mean, if I am innocent but being accused (Contador should benefit from ‘presumption of innocence’ of course), I would feel the same things as him.

    I guess Astana may lack respect for him, if I take into account his palmarès or his conduct (we should not ignore the fact that he honored his three-year contract last winter, and Astana could maintain its pro tour status).

    As for Landis’ comment about Clenbueterol use in peloton, OK, it may be a general opinion of pro peloton. But I think we should not put too much emphasis on this.
    Because, strictly speaking, his view has nothing to do with Contador and his particular case.

    It appears that when it comes to information against Contador, people accept them quite easily and willingly. On the other hand, when it comes to information favorable for Contador, people hardly accept them with the same willingness and easiness.

    I think it unfair.
    And this unfairness is everywhere since 30 September, without being questioned.

    I have no trouble in understanding his feeling.

  • Mike

    You have to admire this guys nerve.
    He had a whole month to come up with the infected meat story, that is lets be kind, implausable at best, and now its this whols sorry mess is his last teams fault.

  • g bell

    why has contador decided to blame the meat? if he had innocently eaten something containing small amounts of clenbuterol you would have expected him to say that he had no idea how it came to be in his blood and then suggested that the meat or something else was responsible for the contamination. However he had several weeks from being informed by the uci and the positive being reported in the press, in which time he and his defence team came to the definite conclusion that the meat was responsible. Which is very convenient as the evidence has been eaten and cannot be proven one way or the other. A suspicious person might suspect that he knows full well how and when the clenbuterol got in his system especially the day before the most important stage of the tour.

  • Brian

    Wow! Now we are supposed to show respect to dopers… Pro cycling is getting worst everyday.

  • Colnago Dave

    Alberto, do not threaten, do it, you have previously been linked to the infamous Puerto case and now this. The rules state you are responsible for the food you eat, you chose to import the so called guilty meat , you have confirmed eating it and claim that the receipt is available. Irrefutable admission of guilt.
    Astana have previously suiffered as a result of Vino’s guilt and lost out on a tour place so why do you think they are distancing themselves
    Re Saxo backing you, just look back at how quick they distanced themself from Basso

  • Oli

    Let’s hope he does retire if banned. What is he trying to do? Hold us to ransom? We don’t care!