Triple Tour de France winner Alberto Contador said on Thursday that he was hoping his doping case would be concluded before the end of the year.
“I have no doubts because at no moment have I done anything improper,” the Spaniard told Spanish television channel Teledeporte. “I’d like there to be a solution between now and the end of the year.”
Contador emerged from this year’s Tour de France with a third yellow jersey to add to his crowns from 2007 and 2009, bolstering his image as stage racing’s man of the moment. He also won the Tours of Spain and Italy in 2008.
In September, however, the International Cycling Union (UCI) provisionally suspended the 27-year-old after trace amounts of clenbuterol, a banned weight loss/muscle-building drug that is also used to fatten cattle, were found in a urine sample taken during the three-week epic.
Contador has argued he unknowingly ingested the clenbuterol from beef that was brought from Spain to France during the second rest day of the Tour, just four days before he won his third title on July 25.
Clenbuterol was banned by the European Union in 1996 but it is still administered illicitly by some ranchers.
The UCI asked the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) to open disciplinary proceedings against Contador on November 8.
Asked if he would quit the sport if punished, Contador said “it was too early to say” but added: “I couldn’t guarantee that I’d continue.”
Contador attributed his relative silence since the story broke in September to the treatment he has received at the hands of the media, saying that he had been “defamed in an incredible fashion”.
He also criticised former team Astana for their lack of support but praised his fans for their backing.
The former Astana rider signed a two-year contract with the Saxo Bank team in August.
© AFP 2010…