Tour de France Champ Contador Is Cleared of Doping by Spanish Federation

Alberto Contador, who failed a drug test in July while winning the Tour de France for a third time, was cleared of doping, his lawyer Andy Ramos said.

The Spanish cycling federation canceled its Jan. 26 proposal for a one-year ban for the rider after considering final arguments, Ramos said by telephone.

Cycling ruling body Union Cycliste Internationale and the World Anti-Doping Agency can appeal the verdict to the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport. Contador, suspended since September, can return to competition even if there is an ongoing appeal.

“This is very surprising,” Brian Cookson, a British member of cycling ruling body Union Cycliste Internationale’s management committee, said in a phone interview. “If any amount of clenbuterol is present that’s an offense. I’m puzzled to understand the Spanish federation’s interpretation of the situation.”

UCI said today in an e-mailed statement that it was considering an appeal, and has 30 days from receiving documents from the Spanish federation to lodge a protest.

Television Espanola reported that the Spaniard will participate in a race in Portugal that starts tomorrow.

Contador blamed eating contaminated beef for testing positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol on the last rest day of the 2010 Tour de France. The test found he had 50 picograms per milliliter of clenbuterol in his body. A picogram is one trillionth of a gram.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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