Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Clarification - Plasticizer Edition

Yesterday I said that the plasticizers in Contador's blood samples were important to me and to the arbitrators.  Turns out that was wrong.  It was only important to me, or at least the arbitrators said that it wasn't important to them in reaching their decision. 

Here is my summation of the whole story:
Contador - I unknowingly ate contaminated beef, so you can't blame me for the clenbuterol in my system despite the strict liability of an athlete to know what he or she is ingesting.

WADA - A) Strict liability and B) the plasticizers indicate a blood transfusion that introduced clenbuterol.  Also, there was a .04% chance of getting clenbuterol laced beef in Europe.

Arbitrators - We reject transfusion and contaminated beer and think the most likely scenario is clenbuterol-laced supplements.

I think it's interesting that they decided on a scenario that neither the accused or prosecutors argued.  Anyway, I do think that there have been a lot of lower profile cases where the strict liability policy was enforced against athletes with completely clean and accusation-free histories, so it was fair to uphold that concept in this case.

If you would like to read an actual analysis of this case, written by an attorney and long-time cycling journalist, check out Charles Pelkey's take on this in his Explainer column now found at the always excellent Red Kite Prayer website - The Explainer: Thoughts on the Contador Case

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