Alberto Contador Tests Positive for Banned Steroid During Tour de France
Alberto Contador non-negative. Statement says Spaniard had clenbuterol in his system; Contador blames food contamination.
July, Contador won the Tour de France for the third time in four years, beating Andy Schleck of Luxembourg by 39 seconds.
Contador is a lithe but powerful rider who likes to use explosive bursts of speed up sharp mountain climbs to shake off rivals. Having won all three Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain, something seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong never achieved, he appeared destined to become one of cycling's all-time greats.
If Tour officials strip Contador of his title, he would be just the second cyclist so punished. The first was American Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour title after a positive test. For years, Landis denied doping but admitted this spring that he used performance-enhancing drugs. In doing so, he accused Armstrong and others of systematic drug use.
Clenbuterol is used as a weight-loss drug which builds muscle while burning fat. It is commonly given to horses to treat breathing problems.
American swimmer Jessica Hardy tested positive for clenbuterol at the U.S. trials in July 2008.