I'm no Contador fan, and would love to see him go down for doping since I'm sure he's been involved in it to some extent (along with basically everyone else except *fingers crossed*, my favorite, Sparticus)...but after reading into this particular drug a little bit, I can see where he can at least make a case.
Clenbuterol is used for people with chronic breathing disorders and also acts as a stimulant and supposedly promotes weight loss...so the cycling advantages are obvious. However, it seems like a less-proven and higher risk drug as compared to the EPO's of the world where the science of administering them secretly and safely is pretty far along. I can't find the reference any more, but I read something about it potentially having negative side-effects on long term heart health also.
There have also been cases of meat contamination in the past due to it being used to lean up the cuts of meat. Plus, from what I understand, he tested low for this sample, and was not positive for the same drug in any of his other samples taken throughout the tour.
Again, not trying to blindly defend the guy, especially since I think he's a jerk, but the argument is plausible enough and this kind of doping by someone in his standing in the sport (probably the 2nd most scrutinized right now) seems just too reckless. But, we will see...
Its very difficult to know how to feel here. In a sense I feel like this is just some political witch hunt because it's so easy (and sells so many papers, or nowadays page hits) to say that someone is 'suspected' or 'tests-positive' for doping and that's all that most people hear. Even if you're later proven innocent your reputation and career have been irrevocably tarnished, and that's if the media covers it because innocence is 'science-y' and difficult to prove and therefore makes boring reports and sells fewer papers. You could work so hard all your life and someone's off-the-cuff locker-room comment could destroy you.
Of course this differs from a witch hunt in the sense that many, many people ARE doping and that nearly every athlete in recent history accused of doping has vehemently denied it only to break down and admit 6 months later. So in that sense, it's only human to begin to immediately assume guilt the minute someone is accused.
I just want have another childhood hero, ya'know? I want to be able to sit on my couch, anxious and shouting at my simulcast, as I watch Chrissie ride another one home and all this ridiculous cheating be it baseball, cycling or professional table tennis just distances me from the excitement.
*sigh* that's my rant
Contador already had doping stink all over him, it's about time he got caught.
The "I ate beef" excuse is a notch up from Landis's "I had a beer" excuse, at least this one had some thought put into it. But it's just as likely to be true, ie. not very.
See you in a few years, Alberto!
That's what I was looking for, so thanks for hunting it down. Don't just say, "Banned substance," I want to know what it was. IMHO, there are Banned Substances (EPO, testosterone), and then there are banned substances (Adderall, diuretics). To me, Clen falls a little more in the "white lies" category. It helps maintain about .05% body fat. Still cheating, but I'm over it in pro cycling.
It's clearly cheating, body fat is critical if you're going to be the world's best climber. And when one takes into account the small margin of victory, it could easily have been the difference.
I also take it as confirmation that he's almost certainly been dirty all along, which many long suspected but couldn't prove.
Congrats to Andy Schleck! Clean? One can never be sure in cycling...
[quote=jsk85]However, it seems like a less-proven and higher risk drug as compared to the EPO's of the world where the science of administering them secretly and safely is pretty far along.[/quote]
Clenbuterol has been around for a long time. Heck, in college when i was more into weight training, the guys I worked out with all took it. Leans you up, and makes your muscles have more pop without all that subcutaneous fat. You can buy it over the counter in Mexico (I live in Texas after all)
Long term, sure i bet it is bad news, but same thing for any drug that treats a "chronic" illness brought on by poor lifestyle choices.
I dont know what to say as I sit here reading this chuckling to myself...........
One question, is there an advantage to being really light, if you are a world class cyclist like Contrador? To the point of where you would take this steroid at risk of being caught? I was wondering because it sounds like this drug would keep you lean, but also builds muscle which makes you heavier. What is the advantage?
There is a good write-up on the drug and possibilities over at www.sportsscientists.com.
I think the transfusion possibility fits...and would still make him a doper, just not (intentionally) during the Tour.
If it's not transfusion, though, I think it almost has to be accidental contamination since it'd be absurd to take a non-performance enhancing dose of a banned drug during the tour, while being tested basically daily.
I've been doing some reading up on this and like jsk85 and Trisooner suggest, to plainly say that he was cheating without looking at this situation a bit closer is a bit too black and white. The stuff is used in meat in some parts of the world (China) though I understand its banned for use in livestock in Europe. But thats besides the point...
Why would Contador take such a weak PED, in such small amounts, on a day off? And the guy tested clean every other day of the tour, so again, I don't buy that he intentionally took it in. It doesn't make sense, its not smart, and like him or not, it just doesn't add up.
Sure, maybe he doped but to conclusively suggest that he was doping based on this test is beyond reaching and not something he should lose the jersey for.
I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt the same way I do every time I talk to someone about Lance. I defend Lance on the basis that he did one of two impossible things, 1) Survived cancer and came back to win seven consecutive TdF's OR 2) Doped and/or took PEDs for nearly a decade without ever using the wrong doctor, letting the wrong person in on it, ever letting a tech see, failing any [credible] tests, etc etc. Both options are pretty unlikely but given the two options I'll choose innocent before guilty and leave our champs the way they are.
Contador turned the tide of this year's tour when he didn't stop for Andy when he dropped the chain. Sportsman or not, THAT was the difference, and he guaranteed his victory where everyone said he would, in the last individual time trial. I'll continue believing thats what made the difference, not a gray area banned substance like clen in such a miniscule amount that it *might* suggest he had doped at some point *before* the tour.
Still bad for the sport though because the way the media spins it makes an insinuation as bad as a conviction.
[quote=raflopez].........and he guaranteed his victory where everyone said he would, in the last individual time trial.....[/quote]
??? The difference between Andy's timetrial and Contadors was MUCH less than the time lost on the dropped chain. Remember Andy was beating him for 80% of the TT and had a hell of a day when people said he would loose 3+minutes.
This isn't specific to the thread but I have to defend the guy.
[quote=raflopez]I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt the same way I do every time I talk to someone about Lance. I defend Lance on the basis that he did one of two impossible things, 1) Survived cancer and came back to win seven consecutive TdF's OR 2) Doped and/or took PEDs for nearly a decade without ever using the wrong doctor, letting the wrong person in on it, ever letting a tech see, failing any [credible] tests, etc etc. Both options are pretty unlikely but given the two options I'll choose innocent before guilty and leave our champs the way they are.[/quote]
There is nothing "impossible" about knowing the doping rules and avoiding detection. A lot of guys did it for a long time, until Operation Puerto they got away with it. They passed tests and raced, with the public none the wiser until at the tail end of their careers they ended up on some list.
The benefit of the doubt - in any other sport, maybe, but this is professional cycling. It's riddled with doping scandals, finding out a guy who climbs just a little too well is cheating can hardly be something surprising. The only surprise would be if this was all he was using.
BTW - ever notice that it always seems to happen to the guy who leaves Armstrong and Bruyneel's team that gets caught? Coincidence?
what about tyler hamiltons 'vanishing twin' excuse don't forget that one ! although i thought tyler was a friggen awesome cyclist and still like him. he was just trying to make a living.
It was bad meat...
... and what about the plastic?
Umm... I ate the wrapper?
the [s]blood[/s] plot thickens
He didn't dope, but the guy whose blood he transfused into his own veins did :-)
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