Contador Should Shut Up

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I just read an interview with Alberto Contador over at  The title of the interview was Contador: Without a doubt I have won nine Gran Tours.  He says that the 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro titles are his, even thou officially he was kicked out of those races for doping infractions.

Then he goes on and says –“With the system of anti-doping control we now have and the quantity of those tests for the top riders it is impossible to cheat. If you do it’s like a suicide. I’ve no doubt this is why it’s clean at the very highest level.”

Here’s the deal with his views.  If Alberto is so clean, never raced doped, was robbed of his Gran Tour titles by WADA and the UCI, why is he so knowledgable of doping?  Knowledgable enough to publicly make this statement.

If he has never taken or participated in doping in cycling, then why would he have any knowledge of if it is possible or impossible to cheat in cycling.  Since he is at the top level at the sport result-wise, does he think that he has a better knowledge of how to dope in sports than say, me or you?  Why would he?  He has never doped and really is uninterested in it, since in cycling, “it’s clean at the very highest level”.

I wonder if he’s read anything about Russian track and field last week?  I wonder if he thinks those guys thought it was impossible to cheat.  The track and field world governing body voted 22-1 to suspend all Russian athletes from competition.  This is how polluted that sport was.

But, in cycling, it is impossible to cheat and it would be “like a suicide” to do so. Personally, I think it takes some pretty bad luck to get caught.  Like in , Luca Paolini‘s case at the Tour this year, where he had to snort a nose full of cocaine to offset his Ambient haze, only to get caught in a random drug test when he finished.  I wonder if Alberto thinks this was unfair.   I wonder, like I do, if Alberto thinks about where Luca got cocaine to snort that day?  Was he carrying it around with him, just in cause something like this happened?  Luca did win the 2015 Gent–Wevelgem this year.  I wonder if Alberto thinks that race was won clean?

If Alberto know nothing about doping in cycling, he should hold his tongue because he is a bike racer and isn’t knowledgable enough to make a comment.  If he knows a ton about doping in cycling, then he would realize that it is possible to dope in sports and that he is just lying.  Either way, he should keep his mouth shut and not claim Gran Tour titles that are officially not his.

2009 Tour podium.  Enough said.

2009 Tour podium. Enough said.

30 thoughts on “Contador Should Shut Up

  1. Steve Tilford Post author

    Anthony-I don’t understand your comment. Did Travis Tygart say that cycling is clean at the highest level and that Alberto Contador won the 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro?

  2. Anthony Geller

    “If he has never taken or participated in doping in cycling, then why would he have any knowledge of if it is possible or impossible to cheat in cycling.”
    If the only way to know about doping is to participate, what does that say about Tygart and USADA?

  3. Bolas Azules

    Steve – your comment “Personally, I think it takes some pretty bad luck to get caught.” is spot on.

    You see it in other sports (football & baseball) as well where huge mistakes have to be made in someone’s ‘program’ in order to be one of the very few that gets caught. Add to this the apparent cooperation from the leaders of the various sports (often pressured by $ponsors) and their doping controls in an attempt to minimize bad publicity for the sport and one would have to assume someone that gets ‘caught’ is a) unlucky, b) carelessly adhering to a ‘program’ and c) hated or viewed as expendable by the Federation or governing body.

    Look, Alberto rode with Lance, for Och & Johan Bruyneel and has won Gran Tours…tic-tac-toe draw the lines. That’s enough for me.

  4. Eric

    Dopers suck. The punishments handed out have yet to make a doper think about the consequences of getting caught…look Nibalis entire squad. I do believe they got their 2016 world tour license. That whole team should be asking “would you like fries with that”.

  5. Mike iavarone

    I was that the cocaine in Paolini’s sample was from his use of the drug in the off season.. So how was it found in a sample during the tour? One could take a guess how it got there…

  6. Bill V.

    Luca’s B sample analysis has taken longer than Danielson’s and not a word has come out as to why. I wonder what’s going on there.

  7. Krakatoa East of Java

    “If you do it’s like a suicide. I’ve no doubt this is why it’s clean at the very highest level.”

    STFU Berto. Lance almost died, and then went right back to abusing the same substances that likely gave him the cancer in the first place. Despite being tested up and down, all the time. Kind of like… Suicide.

  8. Steve Tilford Post author

    George – Rumor has it he was taking a bunch of sleeping pills and woke up in a haze, so he wasn’t in any sort of mindframe to make a good decision, so he snorted a bunch of coke to “wake up”.

  9. Steve Tilford Post author

    Anthony – No, Travis Tygart “participates” in doping as a full time job. He probably knows more about doping than anyone else, including the guys that are doing it in competition. So no, I don’t think he is a doper. He job is exactly the opposite.

  10. channel_zero

    They are negotiating the bribes necessary for the federation to work out a nice 3-month sanction…. Starting in December.

  11. channel_zero

    You gotta love the bravado with which Contador handles himself. He knows the federation supports him 100% even after they screw up and positives slip through.

    Remember, he would not have tested positive for clenbuterol without the pressure from Hajo Seppelt warning the UCI he was going to run a story about a rider.

    Once again, the federations like Cycling, IAAF, FIFA are perfectly okay with doping.

  12. channel_zero

    Ahhh, but the problem is the federations are okay with doping. They have Chris Horner’s values, they were clearly abnormal for his Vuelta win and he’s never tested positive. Blacklisted like Mancebo, but still never tested positive.

    Hell, USA Cycling has run several different doping programs, knowingly or not.
    Do you think they didn’t know Tammy Thomas was way beyond positive? How about the allegations Thom Wiesel was topping up his team in his Park City home prior to nationals one year? Steve’s buddy Chris Carmichael was doping teenagers.

    Doping is okay. Just don’t kill yourself and be ready with bribes.

  13. Barb

    Good point — it’s more like foot in mouth, than putting his best foot forward.
    I’m under the impression, from all of the self-generated exposure Contador is putting out there on the web (including this interview) that he’s trying to build his public image up (post doping disqualifications 2010-2012 including his Tour win) and promote himself as a cycling celebrity like Lance did, and capitalize on that as a “clean” rider. He even formed his own foundation, the Contador foundation (like Lance did.) He doesn’t have the social sophistication or charisma to pull it off like Lance did however, not to mention poor showings in the past three years, some of which were due to crashes and mechanicals. So if his only claim to fame are races he won but was disqualified for, his marketing campaign to be the European Lance is falling a little short. He’s a hell of a climber (like Lance was) but I always feel like riders who’re climbing like a machine and leaving everyone in the dust, must be on some kind of PEDs.

  14. George Romonoyske

    I was just reading about it in other sports. They take Ambien to insure quality sleep. Seems to be a slippery slope though, it’s easy to take a bit too much and performance suffers the next day. Then the cocaine. Thanks Steve.

  15. paul

    Track and field has been a total joke for a number of years now. No need for power meters to know that there is no way in hell any human being is a full 4 seconds faster over a mile than the greatest mid distance runner of all time – Seb Coe. Can’t use “better technology”, training methods, nutrition and all that other nonsense either to explain the way all the mid to long distance times have dropped through the floor since right around the advent of EPO

  16. channel_zero

    Ohhhh. Bad news about Seb Coe.

    Someone might want to ask him about working with a certain Italian doctor. It wasn’t officially doping at the time for a number of reasons, but, it was doping.

    Renato Canova can confirm.

  17. James

    I actually agree with Contador.
    I think he’s being pretty realistic of the situation. His talent and discipline would have him 9 grand tours even if he never took anything, in my opinion. As someone who has worked in a medical lab and has a fair knowledge of instrument analysis, Contador is somewhat correct in the sensitivity of tests. I think that is what he means.
    Also, who really cares about Paolini’s cocaine positive?
    I have never really understood why recreational drugs are tested for.
    People don’t realize that each test for each substance takes time and money and work to carry out… Regardless, lab workers are often underpaid and it seems like the system is going OK to me!
    There will always be cheaters… but we can only do our best 😉

  18. James

    Actually rider health is one reason, I wouldn’t want my expensive riders smoking hash or snorting blow the day before the big race.

  19. Dan Lind

    Hey Alberto,

    Any time you’d like to discuss why plasticizers were also found in your blood when you tested positive for Clenbuterol, it would help all of us determine just how “clean” you are.

    I’m still amazed at how quickly this fact was swept under the rug as stories about tainted steaks were fabricated. Even if the beef was to blame, it still does not explain how 8x the normal level of DEHP was in your blood. Fact is, there’s only one scientific explanation.

    “Suicide” you say? If that’s true, you’d have been dead long ago, many times over.

  20. Larry T.

    Contador gets paid to win races and then get press coverage, known as publicity for his sponsors. He was asked the question. “NO COMMENT” wouldn’t have generated much publicity. So what would you expect him to say? Used to be “I doped because everyone else was doped” was the basic excuse. Now “I don’t take dope, you’d have to be crazy to do that and anyway, nobody dopes anymore, the sport’s all cleaned up now.” is the response. Fits right in with the UCI’s “Nothing to see here folks, move along!” line of baloney about Astana, a team one year ago they said was so awful, so corrupt, that it’s license should be revoked. And Katusha before that.
    After every doping scandal, a new era is declared and then it’s back to business as usual. Only the dumb or very unlucky get caught. Same as it ever was. Do I wish that wasn’t true? Certainly. But Steve, don’t tell us you didn’t know about doping in cycling when you started (or at least when you started racing at a high level)…you’re smarter than that. And continuous rants about the unfairness of it all do what exactly? Make you feel better? Perhaps you should get involved with the new regime at USAC? Bouchard-Hall sounds like he really wants to clean things up. I’m long past my racing daze but I ponied up for their new RIDE license just to show my support for the guy’s efforts.

  21. Fausto

    Of course there will always be an asterisk next to his redacted wins. Like LA said, a million people watched it happen, he stood on the top step, so he won. UCI botched the thing too. Now he has an owner who is a huge tool that will back him up on anything. A year from now he will be gone, another one from the era in the rear view mirror.

  22. Dan

    Steve, first of all I love your blog. I read I every day. Since you posted this I have been wondering what your thoughts on Teejay Vangarderen are? To me it seems glaringly obvious that at this yearsTDF he had a bad reaction to a transfusion on the rest day. Hasn’t this happened in the past where a rider is well placed on GC then has a transfusion and suddenly implodes. It seems to me that the media quickly swept Tj’s implosion under the rug ” He is just sick. nothing to see here folks” I am not buying it at all and wonder what your thoughts on the matter are?

  23. Levi

    This is something I can get behind. Criticizing Steve for being 2faced or carrying a double standard has gone absolutely nowhere. So encouraging an active roll, one other than ranting on your blog, is perhaps a positive step forward to take Steve. Do something! You’re a NAME, you can make a difference, or take a REAL stand. Swear off Och et all and start a REAL crusade against doping, please. If you’re letting one penny of money through the front door of your home that comes from a program rife with doping history, you’re not doing anything positive for the sport, quite the opposite in fact.

    Please do what all of us readers want. Call out Och for what he is and get involved in the fight. I for one will stand up and cheer and praise your actions. But this shit about saying Contador should shut up, when in fact, you should too…..just isn’t a headline that’s gonna sell any newspapers.

    Every single time you talk about dopers/doping in cycling you stick your foot in your mouth. At this point your femur is sticking out of your throat. Not a good look!

    #If you hate something don’t you do it too.

  24. Levi

    Steve, last time you answered one of my questions you said you did indeed have a back bone. Prove it here and now…..answer Dan’s question!

  25. Skippy

    Speaking of Chris Horner , does anyone recall that he suffered DVT after leaving the ” Le Tour ” one year ?

    Reason for reminder to you ALL , is that in the past days , New Zealand lost a Major Sporting STAR ! @JonahLomuNZ was perhaps , world renowned in Sport , yet a flight back home after the World Rugby Final , saw his demise from a ” DVT incident “!

    Yes , he was a user of ” Creatine ” in his past , as narrated in the following link :

    Since NO ONE appears to want to HELP with ” Cycling Safety Issues ” that i have mentioned here ( VisionZeroWorldWide ) in recent times , at least consider YOUR Health , the next time YOU fly long haul ?

    Even when i join a peloton of weekend warriors , there is little comment about the ” Close/Punishment Pass ” that WE ALL suffer , virtually daily , yet some will mention reading of the latest ” Hit & Run ” such as was the case on Sunday , after that incident on Saturday near Geelong , in the area where UCI had the World Road Race Championship in 2012 ( ? ).

    Cycling Sport cops a bashing from the media , but do we see the same journos going after other Sports ? Not politically correct ?

    Fact is , just as DVT , is not mentioned in connection with Airlines (Sponsorship Issues ) , the governing bodies of Sport , do not go after the ” Life Time Ban ” , since so many of them WERE participants in their day !

    Time that ALL Athletes INSIST that the Airlines provide space on Long Haul Flights for exercise ! I use the space that the Attendants use when seated !

    WHY is it so hard for the Airlines to ensure that ALL , survive use of their Services ?


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