Alberto Contador, the three-time Tour de France winner, is set to lose one of his Tour titles after an appeal court ruled on Monday that he had used a performance-enhancing drug to secure victory in 2010.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, overturned an earlier ruling by the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) and banned the Spaniard from racing for two years, The New York Times reported.
As Contador stopped competing between August 2010, when a positive drug test was announced, and last February, when the Spanish federation issued its ruling, his suspension will end on August 5, meaning that he will miss both this year’s Tour de France and the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck, who came second to Contador in the 2010 Tour, is now set to take the 2010 title, according to the BBC.
Schleck said: “First of all I feel sad for Alberto. I always believed in his innocence. This is just a very sad day for cycling [but] we can finally move on.”
Contador will also lose all of his victories from last season, including a second win at the Giro d’Italia last year. Italy’s Michele Scarponi is now set to take the Giro 2011 title.
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One of only five men with titles in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol, a muscle-building and weight-loss drug, on the final rest day of the 2010 Tour.
Contador claimed it had come from eating contaminated meat delivered from Spain to France by a friend.
RFEC President Juan Carlos Castano was disappointed with the CAS decision, saying: “We are obliged to comply with it but we don’t agree with it.”
“It’s very bad news for Spanish sport,” he said on national radio, according to Reuters. “For us this journey has ended.”