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Contador's future at stake after WADA rejects doping defense

Tour de France winner faces inquiry into source of banned steroid found in urine

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has not swallowed Alberto Contador's defense that he ate tainted meat imported from the Basque town of Irún during the 2010 Tour de France. The Spanish cyclist's victory in the Tour is in doubt following the detection of clenbuterol in a mid-race urine sample for which he is in under provisional suspension.

A report by the WADA handed to the Spanish federation RFEC by the International Cycling Union shows that the agency visited the Irún butcher's shop and found no presence of clenbuterol in any of its meat products. The RFEC must decide whether to suspend Contador.

The WADA report also cites a 2008 EU analysis of nearly 300,000 meat samples in which just one showed possible evidence of illegal livestock fattening through the use of clenbuterol, an anabolic steroid.

"Clearly, farmers that use illegal methods never slaughter their illegally fattened animals until 20 days after the last dose of clenbuterol to evade controls," the report reads, adding that Contador would have had to have eaten a steak with 300 nanograms for his test to return an amount of 50 picograms. Therefore, the report states, Contador's clenbuterol trace must have come from another source.