Contador courts controversy as Tour de France begins

Contador courts controversy as Tour de France begins

Defending champion Alberto Contador has continued to court controversy as the annual Tour De France begins.

Competing while under investigation for alleged doping, Contador argued it would be “completely ridiculous” to allow him to compete and later strip him of a potential title.

Addressing journalists before the start of the three week races, Contador said: “If they can take the victory from me after I win the Tour de France, I think it is completely ridiculous.

“From the beginning of the season I have surely been the most tested rider and I am winning almost every race I take part in.”

Commentators have questioned the presence of the three-time champion after he tested positive for a banned substance during the 2010 race.

A urine sample given on the final rest day of the 2010 Tour contained trace amounts of the drug clenbuterol.

Contador pleaded his innocence, saying he ingested contaminated meat.

Any trace of the substance should automatically lead to a two-year ban. However, the Spanish Cycling Federation cleared the cyclist in February.

The International Cycling Union and World Anti Doping Agency are currently appealing against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Tour de France 2011

This will be the 98th Tour de France, with a 180 kilometre first stage taking riders through the Passage du Gois.

The race will end – having passed through Italy for a short spell - on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on July 24th.

WSDE Sports Destination Expo

The Tour de France is one of the crown jewels of the $600bn annual sports tourism industry.

WSDE is the only global exhibition and business forum dedicated to showcasing this booming market - the most rapidly growing sector in travel and tourism.

Now in its 2nd year, WSDE will take place in Bangkok, Thailand - Asia’s Sport Tourism Gateway - from September 27th - 29th 2011.

WSDE provides the optimum, cost effective platform for exhibitors to meet and carry out face-to-face business with the top international buyers with direct purchasing power.

Take a look at the website for more information.