The Return of Alberto Contador
El Pistolero is back and do we care?
August 6th was an important day for someone. No it wasn't a national holiday, anniversary or my birthday - it was the return of Alberto Contador to professional cycling.
Just to bring everyone up to speed regarding Señor Contador - does everyone remember where they were back in September of 2010? I remember it well because the movie Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D had come out at the theaters and I was sure that this newest installment of the Resident Evil franchise was going to be the best (side note - it wasn't). Anyways, Contador had won the Tour de France for a third time, which is pretty darn impressive! In this era of "clean riding" it's getting harder and harder to win the Tour back to back. Turns out that winning the Tour de France is really hard to do! Who knew?
We found out that during the Tour de France, which is contested in July, his sample contained trace amounts of clenbuterol. Two things came to mind: how is it that two months later we're finding out that the winner of the Tour de France had a positive doping sample and what the heck is clenbuterol?
Well apparently the A.S.O. wasn't too keen on disclosing that their current Tour de France winner returned with a positive drug result. That's just bad for business. Remember, Le Tour is big business. So while they were actually trying to figure out what to do next it turns out that the German media knew about Contador's positive result and were going to go public. As any smart public relations person will tell you, it's better to get ahead of the story rather than try to spin it after the fact. So that's what they did - announced the positive result.
Clenbuterol is a weight-loss and muscle-building drug normally used on cattle to lean them out. How did "clen," as the "cool" kids call it, get introduced into Contador's system? According to Alberto's defense team it was in the steak that he ate during the rest day when he decided to eat differently from the usual team menu of al dente spaghetti. Lesson to everyone - don't be that guy that wants to be special with their food choices. Eat what everyone else is eating and pretend to be happy about it.
I know what you're going to say next, "Hey, I heard there was something else found in El Pistolero's blood." That's true and bonus points to you for remembering! Plasticizers were also detected in a sample taken a day before the clenbuterol positive. In fact eight times more than what might normally be found in someone's urine was discovered. What are plasticizers? How did plastic get into his system? Did he chew on a pen? Did he eat a plastic clenbuterol cow?
According to WADA's key witness, Australian doping expert Michael Ashenden, plasticizers could indicate illegal blood transfusions. But here's the rub - there's no test formally approved to detect plasticizers.
As I'm sure you're well aware, while this was all going on, Contador