The Contador doping scorecard. Who’s pro, con and clueless?

Who's on my team?

Here is your official Alberto Contador game card for those scoring the doping allegations at home.

The Alberto Camp Supporters

Fran, his brother. No surprise there, huh. Blood is thicker than blood in a transfusion bag.

Bjarne Riis, his desperately hopeful new employer. No Pistolero, no Saxo.

Johan Bruyneel, perhaps thinking ahead to signing Alberto, post suspension.

Bert from Sesame Street. That’s right, the kids are in ‘Berto’s corner.

Most of Spain, all of Pinto. Home court rules.

UCI president Pat McQuaid, doing backflips to protect the biggest star in cycling and keep the sport itself from imploding on his watch.

Suspended Radio Shack rider Li Fuyu. He’s thinking if Contador somehow gets away with less than a two year ban for clenbuterol, his own ban should be shortened.

Lance Armstrong. Yet another Tour de France winner with doping problems damages the Boss’ own claims that he won seven clean as a whistle.

The Anti-Alberto camp

Italian anti-doping investigator Ettore Torri. Man, he pulls no punches.

Spanish meat butchers. They’re ticked that the world suddenly thinks Spain has doped riders and crummy steaks from chemically altered cows. Call it Operacion Carne.

Dr. Jordi Segura, of the IOC-accredited laboratory in Barcelona, and developer of the test for plasticizers in IV blood transfusion bags. Suddenly, Jordi is the new star of the testing protocol hit parade. Welcome to the show, JS.

Hans Joachim Seppelt, a journalist with the German TV station ARD, who first made the plasticizer claim. Hans just can’t keep his hands off Alberto’s throat.

The French riders. Best expressed by Sylvain Chavanel: “Right now, amongst the riders, I can tell you that we’re not that shocked.”

The French sports newspaper L’Equipe.

Rasmus Damsgaard, who developed and ran the internal anti-doping program at Saxo bank and Astana.

Francesco Botré, head of the WADA-lab in Rome. On record saying, “If someone has a very, very high level of plasticizers in the urine, it would be hard for that athlete to explain how that happened if not from doping.”

Lance Armstrong. Yup, he’s a fence sitter. Under investigation for doping himself, the Texan has to be getting a big laugh out of non-pal Alberto Contador’s troubles. Misery loves company.

Unavailable for comment either way.

Buried roughly 130 feet underground for what — two months — the 33 Chilean miners have not been kept abreast of developments in the Contador doping allegations.

Government officials have refused to tell the miners as the news may “mentally destabilize” them and further weaken their ability to survive in their ordeal.

After

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  • Ron

    Alberto might be wishing he was in the hole with the miners right now.

    You want my worthless opinion? Well, I was starting to believe cycling was finally getting clean. I never thought it was clean, as you probably know, but to me it was appearing as if science was finally getting the upper hand and no pro cyclist would be stupid enough to risk his career doping because of current test, and more scary–future test that would be subject to old "B" samples sitting around gathering dust and investigative scientists/journalists with too much time on their hands. But I'm afraid I was wrong.

    • Ron, I agree with everything you're saying. AC is a real bummer for the sport in general but I'm a big fan and believer in Vaughters. He said the other day that really, the blood doping transfusion is the one thing the biological profile can't really catch. But he's thrilled with the plasticizer test because now that's also catchable. He still says things are better so I'm keeping my spirits up. Matt

  • Henkio

    They'll just start using glass or find something else. It's that easy.

  • Lee

    I got excited when LA made a comeback since I missed his TdF campaigns (and all the drama) the first go around. I got back into cycling 'cause if that old guy can do it so can I (I'm 64). AND I greatly applauded the officials efforts to clean up the doping. The US MLB and NFL should pay attention to the procedures! I try to get out 4-5 times weekly for exercise, so I have a natural tie to cycling. However, the 'drip, drip, drip' of positives is really killing my excitement/interest over the sport. Used to watch every second of the Giro, TdF and Vuelta on Versus and UniversalSports. Could hardly pay attention to the Vuelta this year. I won't watch doped riders. It's the human competition that inspires me. By the way, where the heck did RadioShack go? They were a big deal in the first half of the season and disappeared after the TdF.

  • Lee

    By the way, some French rider said that AC's positive didn't surprise the peloton. By the time he got a positive, he had won five straight grand tours. I wasn't surprise either!

  • Roberto Gonzalez

    I like every thing that happen.It will made cycling as have to be…clean

  • Mick

    Looking into the crystal ball…

    If AC was to be proven beyond a doubt to have doped…

    will he go the route of Hamilton (et al) and deny to his last breath…

    or

    will he crack and admit all (ala Kohl)…(?) Without a doubt, that would take a rather grande set of cojones as well as some serious soul searching (to be stripped of every result of note)

    AC is in a very precarious position with the damage he could bring onto the sport.

    Once/LS/Discovery/Astana… not a squeaky clean resume (if circumstantial evidence it to be believed)…

    Is it any wonder that he is being backed up by LA(sort of), JB, etc…

    Hell, I'm sure somewhere Siaz is on the record testifying to his squeaky clean blood…of course, he'd know best…he probably still has a few of Ac's bags laying around from Puerto.

    If it comes down to it…I suspect his cojones aren't that big…and he'll take a page out of Basso's book & STFU…

    • I actually feel sorry for Alberto but maybe I see that little boy look. He should know better and he’s ridden for some pretty questionable teams. Not that there aren’t that many non-questionable ones. Matt

  • Cliff

    We all want to clean up doing, even the dopers (presumably). This stuff is going to be with biking and all sport until testing is thorough and rigorous. Yes, the cheaters will always have an edge, but the penalty for cheating must be severe, one strike is five years suspension, two strikes and you’re out.

    And, while I’m at it, what’s with the attitude of this site? It’s like Maxim does biking. Sad.

    • Hey Cliff, wow, first “Maxim” comment we’ve ever gotten as far as our tone. Then you follow up by caling us “sad.” Hmmm, if we were Maxim looking a naked superbabes all day I doubt we’d be sad. Still, we grasp your underlying point that we’re pathetic. Different strokes, I guess. Since I’m also paid to write for Versus and Cyclesport Magazine and Pez Cycling News, I’d say there’s a booming market for sad. There, I feel better. Matt

  • Sam Parker

    Ok, here goes. I don't rant often, but this one has probably been boiling for a while.

    There is a lot of chatter in multiple forms of media about how horrible it is that Contador may be guilty and how Armstrong may be guilty and how it might be the death knell for the sport. It pisses me off that this becomes the overarching tone. Get the freaking sport clean, or don't…but it must evolve, even if it gets worse before getting better. I love the activity of riding bikes as fast as I can, riding bikes to see landscapes, riding bikes to talk to people. If the competetive side of the sport blows up…fine. Sustaining it in its current state may not be sustainable. Let it evolve and change. Let some giants of the sport take a hit and have their reputations tarnished if that ends up happening. Regardless, I will still ride my bike.

    I do not need them to validate my participation. As an owner of a business which depends on bike sales, there may certainly be an impact. Overall, the bike business has flourished in this country during the time of Armstrong's success. But like the real estate market when it crashed, a lot of people that didn't belong and were not good for the business got washed away. If that happens, the smart, and able will remain in the bike business. I'm ok with that as far as being a business owner.

    As far as being a participant in the activity? I'm not worried about impact of Contador and Armstrong and any other star being implicated. Bike racing will survive. I will still ride and look around and talk to those I am riding with. That will not change as long as I'm able to put a leg over a saddle.

    Get on with it.

    • Nicely put Sam. This is a rant-enabled website so feel free to let loose when things build up. Stars and sponsors will come and go. We'll all surivive just fine and bike racing will continue. WHat bothers me is that whenever I tell someone new that my favorite sport is pro cycling, their first response is about doping. That always bums me out. FOr doping to define a beautiful sport with magical events all over the world is really sad and unfortunate. Matt

  • Sam

    I agree with you on the unfortunate opinions held by most who don't know anything else about our chosen sport other than the doping stories. What gets me is the ignorance of the same practices by athletes in other sports that we never hear about.

    Would Pro Soccer or top level swimming or Pro Tennis stand up to the same level of scrutiny? Would the governing bodies of these sports choose to undertake the same measures to try to reduce the doping going on? Only if it were necessary based on media reports when an athlete in those sports gets caught. Track and Field still hasn't admitted to itself that there is a big enough problem that it will do the same things to its athletes (make them available any time anywhere to drug testers). Pro Football and Pro Baseball in the US only took measures when scandal dictated the need. And they stopped with steroids. Who knows what other techniques are still being used and not tested for in those sports.

    I take some solace about the sport I like the most, in knowing that it is doing more than all the rest to rid itself of doping. Will it ever be completely clean? I may never know.

    Pro soccer? Given the scandal involving game fixing by referees who had been threatened by unknown entities, there is more that cannot stand the light of investigation in that sport than just doping.

    I say all of this because the popular opinion is that cheating only exists in cycling. It actually exists in any sport, any time giant quantities of money are involved. Cycling just seems to be the sport tied to the whipping post right now.