Monday, October 11, 2010

Alberto Contador Investigation: Odds of Eating Tainted Beef and Other Updates

According to NBC Sports, the chance that Alberto Contador got clenbuterol in his urine from eating a tainted steak are very slim. The article came out today. Here is a quote:
(T)he European Union outlawed clenbuterol for animal fattening in 1996 and systematically monitors farms to ensure that the ban is enforced. Only once did clenbuterol show up in 83,203 animal samples tested by EU countries in 2008 and 2009, says the European Commission's directorate for health and consumer policy. 
Spain tested 19,431 samples in those years; none were positive for the drug, it adds. Illegal use of clenbuterol in European farming "has indeed become rare," says the office's spokesman, Frederic Vincent. 
Which suggests that Contador would have been extremely unfortunate to stumble across a tainted steak. That's one reason why Fernando Ramos, a food contamination specialist at Portugal's Coimbra University, doesn't buy it. 
"It's not impossible but improbable," he says. "In my opinion, it's just a story."
In other bad news for Contador, it was reported last week that an anonymous insider from Astana has said that Contador took clenbuterol to lose weight prior to the Tour de France and then gave blood for use in the Tour de France. VeloNation reported that the insider give some incredible details on Contador's blood doping and clenbuterol use. Here are a few quotes:

“He had a transfusion performance after the Dauphiné Libéré [Criterium du Dauphiné], and the blood still contained a little bit of clenbuterol from a just-finished slimming treatment,” Humo reported the insider as saying. 
“In the Dauphiné Libéré, Contador was still a little overweight. Ordinary people do not see that, but there was still a pound or two to shed. Clenbuterol is used to get rid of the last kilos while, at the same time, to ensure that you do not lose muscle mass - or, in the best case, even gain a little extra muscle mass.”
The individual said that the substance is used in combination with the thyroid hormone T3 [Triiodothyronine], with both acting together to burn off fat. … 
Contador was stronger in the Tour, while Brajkovic had an anonymous race….The Astana insider claims that some of the improvement came about by extracting blood to use later. “In the period between the Dauphiné and the Tour, Contador drained off blood - small bags, so that the blood values are not to disrupt the biological passport. The removal happened at a time when there was a trace of clenbuterol in his blood. And that trace was in the blood in the bag, until it was later put back into his body,” he said. 
He claimed that riders only transfuse 150 cc doses, approximately a third of what was thought to have been used in the past. This is done to prevent problems with the biological passport.
Soon after this report came out, it was reported that Contador threatened to sue for defamation. I wonder if Alberto will be asking for money to help defend his cause...

1 comment:

  1. What is continually interesting in these stories, is that they're using an increasingly cunning approach to avoiding detection. The use EPO with regularity in training to be able to GET fit, and then (later) use it in a microdose to mask the effects of their autologous blood transfusions.