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France champion Alberto Contador has been suspended from cycling for one year and stripped of his 2010 Tour de France victory, his spokesperson announced Wednesday.

Contador has 10 days to present any new evidence or material.

The only previous Tour winner to be stripped of his title was Floyd Landis in 2006.

A Contador statement said he will hold a news conference with his team director Bjarne Riis on Friday.

This morning, sources around the globe, including the UK’s Cycling News and USA’s Bicycling Magazine, are buzzing with rumors out of the Spanish press regarding the Contador Decision.
That decision, which will be handed down on Thursday by the Spanish Cycling Federation (REFC), is now heavily rumored to be a one year suspension, an exception from the standard two years, which would also result in the automatic removal of his 2010 Tour de France title.

Contador is currently at Saxo Bank-Sungard’s team training camp in Majorca, Spain, and will be expected to file an appeal on the decision within ten days.

The sample was taken during this year’s race. He has scheduled a news conference is scheduled for Thursday and is expected to explain how clenbuterol got into his system.

Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador tested positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol during this year’s race, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday. The Spanish cycling star has scheduled a news conference for Thursday in his hometown of Pinto.

A statement from the spokesman, obtained by Cycling News and VeloNews, said the three-time Tour winner has consulted experts who “agreed … this is a food contamination case.”

Clenbuterol, used by asthma patients, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances and is also banned by the international cycling organization that sets Tour anti-doping rules.

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Alberto Contador’s spring campaign and even his shot at a third victory in this summer’s Tour de France could be in doubt following doctors’ decision to perform three hours of delicate and complex reconstructive hand surgery on Thursday.

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Fontana Fuentes examines an X-Ray of Contador’s afflicted hand.

Contador, winner of all three of cycling’s grand tours, sought medical help after a less-than-spectacular performance in last weekend’s edition of Criterium International.

“Alberto concedes it wasn’t allergies that caused him to lose time on Saturday,” director Alain Sanquer said in a release issued following Contador’s surgery. “He was suffering real and deep pain in his right hand … unable to operate his brakes, his shifters or even to hold his bars. That made climbing nearly impossible. The problem wasn’t allergies, it wasn’t his legs; it was the hand.”

Madrid hand surgeon Ernesta Maria Fontana Fuentes said Thursday that the two-time Tour de France winner has been suffering from the problem for months, but it only recently became serious enough to put the rider’s season in doubt.

Fontana told reporters that four months ago she and her colleagues had originally prescribed physical therapy for lingering pain in Contador’s thumb and index finger, “but the problem really became serious during Paris-Nice. At one point, it became agonizing.”

Fontana said her diagnosis revealed extensive ligament damage in the area of Contador’s right index finger and thumb.

“It was a mystery,” Fontana said. “Alberto had no major accidents in training or while racing. There was no direct trauma.”

“We spent time with specialists,” Fontana said. “I had even contracted with Jean Wauthier, the ergonomics genius at the UCI, to see if we could find any cycling related movements that would cause such a strain. In the end, it had nothing to do with cycling – or at least the motions one generally associates with cycling.”

To read full article from Velonews, please click here