Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has threatened to quit cycling if he's banned for doping.
"If this isn't resolved favourably and in just fashion then I'd have to consider whether I'd ever get back on a bike," he told Spanish broadcasters Telecinco after testing positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance.
Contador has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) after he announced his positive test on Friday – but he insists he was the victim of contaminated food. "I think this will all be resolved in a favourable manner," he told Telecinco.
The three-time Tour champion tested positive for a minute quantity of the substance on 21 July. UCI chief Pat McQuaid says he could have his fate decided by scientists from the union and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
World cycling's ruling body says only a "very small concentration" of the drug was found and that the case warranted "further scientific investigation" because the Cologne laboratory which detected the clenbuterol is known to be able to detect the tiniest traces of drugs.
"The concentration found by the laboratory was estimated at 50 picograms, which is 400 times less than what the antidoping laboratories accredited by WADA must be able to detect," the UCI said on Friday, adding that analysis of a B sample "confirmed the first".
© AFP 2010