As a professional cycling journalist, with a loyal following of readers, it’s my responsibility to grapple with the Contador clenbuterol plasticizer cesspool of confusion and emerge with a coherent answer.
Here it is: I have no idea what the hell is going on or how to arrive at a judgement. Like you, I’m lost.
After reading a few scientific pros and cons, the mystery meat, el tainted steak seems like a lame explanation. Not buying it, not eating it, either. It just has a desperate feel to it, as excuses go. Same goes for the leftover clenbuterol from a blood transfusion. The amount itself is so minute, with zero performance boost, so unless you can prove the banned practice of a transfusion, you got no story and no suspension.
EL problemo: Radio Shack rider Li Fuyu got popped for a minute dose of clenbuterol and was instantly banned for two years. The UCI has a huge ethical problem here and may be forced to issue a meaningless token ban to Alberto and shorten Fuyu’s ban immediately or risk some embarrassing double standard accusations. No doubt Mr. Fuyu is feeling pretty optimistic these days and has resumed serious training.
The bigger, more confusing and damning evidence, it seems to Twisted Spoke, is the presence of a plasticizer. The kind that comes from a blood bag for example, one used for an illegal transfusion on a rest day in Pau.
But we’re all contaminated and we wouldn’t be surprised if we all had some plasticizer in our blood or urine samples. Again, unless you’re a scientist, wading thru that will be difficult and it being science, half the experts will say it’s inconclusive — enough to get Alberto off the hook. For a comprehensive look at the scientific confusion, check out this nytimes article.
How many years have you been drinking water out of those plastic water bottles during your bike rides? You’ve got plasticizers, not to mention, based on your infrequent cleaning protocol, some bottle scum. We live in a toxic world and we’re all loaded with all sorts of unnatural toxins and chemicals.
So we’re doing what any honest cycling journalist with no science background would do: we’re throwing up our hands in despair, baffled and frustrated and lost. We’re going back to watching pro football. No drug testing in that sport — those 300 pound linebackers who run as fast as wide receivers are clean as a whistle.
We say good luck, Alberto. Welcome to your first big drug controversy. As far as the world’s cycling fans go, we’ve all tested positive for confusion. Again.