The hypothesis of some beef purchased in Irun is Contador’s escape clause but it comes at the expense of Spanish beef farmers, suggestions of contaminated meat are strong allegations to make. Across Europe the bovine sector is already struggling thanks to rising input prices like animal feed and diesel, the last thing a Basque farmer needs is a national sporting icon suggesting the local meat contains dodgy hormones and that some farmers could be resorting to illegal tricks to boost the weight of their herds.
In response the Basque minister for Agriculture and Rural Development has shot back with a press release saying “this could never happen to products from the Basque Country, not to things sold within the region“, adding that the region “meets all the measures in place for food safety and animal feed“. The government itself states that it “along with the Basque bovine producers, it guarantees the quality and security of all food products“.
Contador’s legal team have responded that their allegations are not against Spanish farmers, adding that the meat could have come from abroad. But as I’ve said before, meat in Europe is 100% traceable so this will be very easy to demonstrate… unless the butcher or his supplier is up to no good.