|Meat the press
There are lots of unanswered questions regarding Alberto Contador’s positive test. Clearly Contador is himself desperate for answers but there are issues the Spaniard can clear up that go well beyond a cut of meat.
We need to question the motives and behaviour of others as well, this a tale with a large cast of actors. So here are some things that need answers:
Questions for the UCI
- If both A and B samples came back positive some time ago and Alberto Contador received an immediate provisional suspension, why wasn’t this communicated immediately?
- Why did it take two months to go public?
- What led to the decision to go public with the news?
- Apart from Contador and his entourage, UCI officials, the Cologne lab and WADA, did anyone else know about this before it was made public?
- Did the UCI act differently, whether in procedure or timing, when China’s Fuyu Li tested positive for the same prohibited substance?
Contador’s steak holder consultations
- Where does the meat come from? The team chef says he bought it in the market, José Luis López Cerrón says he bought it in Irun.
- Why do the accounts about the meal differ? Spanish cycling honcho José Luis López Cerrón says all the riders were eating, but some riders say they were delayed and the hotel kitchen was closed, so they got the tainted cut after it was cooked on the team bus?
- When did efforts to trace the rogue steak begin?
- When was the Astana team informed?
- When did Bjarne Riis learn of this?
- Just how long have the anti-doping labs been checking for “plasticisers” in an athelete’s blood?
- If they have been checking for plasticisers, have they recorded the data?
- Did they inform the UCI that some riders were showing suspiciously high levels?
- If so did the UCI follow up the information?
- Is WADA reviewing this testing method?
Some of these questions don’t necessarily have answers. Others, like examining UCI policy, are hardly worth asking as the governing body is notoriously uncooperative, although they do talk if the pressure builds up. But if we want to get to the bottom of this mess we need to examine everything and everyone involved here.