Alberto Contador May Quit Cycling, Mother Says

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10/24/2010| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Alberto Contador. Photo by Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Alberto Contador. Photo by Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Alberto Contador May Quit Cycling, Mother Says

Alberto Contador is serious about quitting cycling regardless of the outcome of his doping investigation, the Tour de France champion's mother said Saturday.

Alberto Contador is serious about quitting cycling regardless of the outcome of his doping investigation, the Tour de France champion's mother said Saturday.

Paqui Velasco said Contador will fight to clear any suspicion over whether he took performance enhancing drugs to win his third Tour in July, but the "nightmare" has taken a hefty mental toll on her 27-year-old son.

"He says: 'I'm thinking about quitting cycling when all of this ends. It's not worth it,'" Velasco told AP and added "What will he do? He doesn't know." "Which is exactly why Contador will remain a pro cyclist," pro cycling analyst and Roadcycling.com founder Thomas A. Valentinsen said.

Contador was quoted last week saying he might quit the sport after being provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union for providing a positive doping test on July 21. Contador claimed the traces of the banned drug clenbuterol in his sample came from contaminated steak. He also denied that tests also found traces of plastic residues indicating he might have undergone banned blood transfusions.

Velasco was among 500 people in Pinto -- Contador's home town - out in support of the rider. Velasco said she would support her son even if he decided to give up the sport.

"He asks: 'Does it serve me anything to keep cycling?' He brings it up and I say 'You're right,' " Velasco said. "If you look at it, since he won the first Tour of France until now, he hasn't had a quiet year."

Contador was called in to testify before a Madrid judge as part of 2006's Operation Puerto case, then went on to win the Tour one year later. Contador was unable to defend his title after Astana was not extended an invitation to compete due to doping violations. He won the Giro d'Italia and Spanish Vuelta instead before returning in 2009 for his second title.

"This has to end well. If not, this would be horrible and one of the worst attacks on cycling there can be," Velasco said. "It's undignified - there are few words in the dictionary that can define what's happening to Alberto."

While Contador has stayed out of sight, Velasco said her son has maintained a regular training schedule and was out while Saturday's rally was taking place.

"We wanted to use this chance to keep his spirits high and him motivated," said Manuel Sopena, whose Mountain Bike Club of Pinto organized the event. "So he doesn't feel alone in all of this."

The scene was in sharp contrast to Contador's July homecoming when a rowdy town plaza was brimming with excitement from another win after Contador put the town - which sits 12.4 miles to the south of Madrid - on the map again.

On Saturday, Pinto mayor Juan Jose Martin Nieto said plans to make Contador an honorary son of Pinto would go ahead.

People of all ages rode their bikes along a 1.9-mile route, and some read poems while many sang impromptu songs. Others agreed that the Spanish rider was innocent and part of a greater plot.

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