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Once again we have some devastating news for anybody who has ever at any point in their life had any respect for professional cycling. Apparently according to this article, Alberto Contador's urine from July 21st has tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned steroid.
My question is, why the heck does it take 2 months to get a result?
In Contador's favor is the fact that the amount that they found was tiny. But this is where it gets weird. According to the wording of the article referenced above, the amount of clenbuterol found was "400 time(s) less than what the antidoping laboratories accredited by WADA must be able to detect."
What the heck does that MEAN? Does it mean that the amount was 400 times less than the necessary amount to call it a positive sample? Also, how many of these World Anti Drug Agency accredited labs are there in the world? Do they ALL get a sample of the same urine test to do experiments on?
The way I'm reading this is the following:
There are many different labs that meet the minimum standards for WADA certification.
The lab that tested this Contador sample found an amount that was 400 times smaller than what is required for the certification of that lab (they did a super-extra test apparently).
That, to me, seems like kind of a shaky result to call positive. However the UCI has "formally and provisionally" suspended Contador.
So what I want to know is what's the wording of the rule? How much of the drug has to be found in his system for it to be considered a positive test? I mean...think about it...if all you need is a MOLECULE of some controlled substance floating around in your urine to get busted, then it's pretty reasonable that such a thing could get there and you might not know where the heck it came from. With such a minuscule amount, I'm inclined to think that this is more likely a case of lab contamination (they're testing for these substances after all...it's not unreasonable to think they might have some samples of them floating around in the lab).
Well, the way to verify would be to check some of the other samples that were sent off to other labs. If other labs know what quantity of clenbuterol they're looking for...it should be easy enough to find. Presuming, of course, that the clenbuterol positive lab didn't have the only sample. If they DID have the only sample...then this whole anti-drug testing agency is a sham.
Look, if people are guilty it shouldn't be that hard to prove it if you're allowed to periodically take samples of their blood and urine. Also, I think before you break the case to the media and start handing out suspensions, you should have a positive result that's better than 400 times less than the required detectable levels.
I still contend that the agencies in charge of doping controls are more corrupt than the cyclists. This is really irritating.