The UCI confirmed today that Spanish rider Alberto Contador returned an adverse analytical finding for clenbuterol following the analysis of urine sample taken during an in competition test on 21st July 2010 on the second rest day of the Tour de France.
This result was reported by the WADA accredited laboratory in Cologne to UCI and WADA simultaneously.
The concentration found by the laboratory was estimated at 50 picograms (or 0,000 000 000 05 grams per ml).
In view of this very small concentration and in consultation with WADA, the UCI immediately had the proper results management proceedings conducted including the analysis of B sample that confirmed the first result. The rider, who had already put an end to his cycling season before the result was known, was nevertheless formally and provisionally suspended as is prescribed by the World Anti-Doping Code.
This case required further scientific investigation before any conclusion could be drawn.
The UCI continues working with the scientific support of WADA to analyse all the elements that are relevant to the case. This further investigation may take some more time.
In order to protect the integrity of the proceedings and in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, the UCI will refrain from making any further comments until the management of this adverse analytical finding has been completed.
Although a banned substance, positive tests from clenbuterol have resulted in different outcomes for athletes in the past.
It has been shown in the past that trace elements of the drug found in the human body can be attributed to food contamination. If it is found in larger amounts it usually points to deliberate doping.
Chinese rider Fuyu Li, who races with Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack team, was also provisionally suspended after testing positive for clenbuterol in April.
He was later given support by a Dutch anti-doping expert, Douwe de Boer, who said the amount found in his body points “clearly in the direction of a contamination” and that such a low dose would not help his performance.