Contador banned, Contador freed, Spain flip-flops.
The Contador clenbuterol conundrum continues…
The rumor-fabrication-faux news machine known as the Spanish cycling press now states categorically that Alberto will not be sanctioned after all. He may even be free to race this week at the Tour of Algarve.
Twisted Spoke wonders what goes on at the Spanish Federation. Less than twenty days ago, they issued a pre-judgement that Contador would receive a one year ban. Now the buzz is backward and El Pais claims they will rule Tuesday that Alberto is as free as one of his parakeets.
That’s quite a judicial flip-flop in less than three weeks. Given all the evidence has been on the table for what — three to five months — we’re amazed that suddenly a last minute piece of new information has changed the verdict. A meat-gate miracle has occurred and saint Rosalinda, the guardian angel of those embroiled in doping allegations, has come to the rescue.
We’re reminded of the classic 70’s comedy record by the improv group, the Firesign Theater. One of their best efforts was entitled Everything You Know Is Wrong. Only we’re in Spain and we’re not laughing.
We admit to bafflement. Not that the Tour de France champion is guilty or not guilty, but at how these weighty decisions, the most important in professional cycling, seem to be handled. It’s like they’re using a ouija board or tarot cards or it’s just four judges blindly throwing darts at a wall. Makes us think of Chinese oracle bones — determining the future by reading turtle shells.
We will say up front we aren’t positive (pun intended) that Contador is guilty. We put our faith in the WADA scientists and we also find the plasticizer test results cast plenty of shadows of doubt on his innocence. (Obviously that test has no legal power behind it as yet.) We simply lean toward the belief that the likelihood for is greater than against.
Twenty days to completely reverse the biggest decision in the sport just strikes us as incredibly suspect on its own. You can disagree with a judgement and still respect the legal process, the expertise of those making the call and the seriousness with which they approach the case. Those things seem debatable at this point.
We’re all dying to know what those four judges in Madrid have decided about Alberto Contador. We’ll find out Tuesday but it already feels very wrong.