Barcelona, Spain (AHN Sports) – Three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador will be at the start of this year’s cycling showcase after confirming that he will defend his title amidst allegations of doping.
At a cycling event organized in his name in his hometown of Pinto, near Madrid Saturday, Contador told reporters, “I’ll be at the Tour de France,” AFP.com reported.
The 28-year-old Spanish rider has dominated the Tour de France in 2007, 2009 and 2010, but his last success at cycling’s showpiece event is still awaiting ratification from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Contador, the first Spaniard to win all three Grand Tours of road cycling, announced in September 2010 that he had tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in a test taken during that year’s Tour de France.
After claiming the positive results were due to contaminated beef he consumed that time, the Spanish cycling federation cleared him of any wrongdoing last March, but the ruling was challenged by the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency.
Contador is scheduled to appear before the CAS on Aug. 1, a week after the Tour ends.
Despite the cloud of uncertainty hovering over his career, Contador competed and triumphed in a series of stage races this season, including the three-week Giro d’Italia last month.