7 Feb 2012

Spanish officials show support for banned Contador

9:07 am on 7 February 2012

Spanish sports leaders have rallied behind their national hero Alberto Contador who has been banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for failing a dope test during the 2010 Tour de France, and stripped of the title.

Alejandro Blanco, the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, said it's been "a bad day for cycling and for Spanish sport" but that he still believes Contador was innocent.

The national cycling coach Jose Luis De Santos said the CAS decision was a setback for the sport in Spain especially as Contador is the nation's "reference point in the grand tours".

And the Luxembourg rider Andy Schleck, who will be awarded the 2010 Tour de France title, says he has no reason to be happy, and if he wins this year's Tour he'll regard it as his first victory. He always believed in Contador's innocence.

Contador has 30 days in which to lodge an appeal, and because his ban has been applied retroactively, if he remains suspended he'll be free to compete again from the 6th of August this year.