Contador & Saxobank the true winners

February 7, 2012

So the verdict is in after 18 months and Contador is banned for two years. Therefore the big winner of the whole procedure is Alberto Contador, with Team Saxobank and Saxobank itself a close second. Why?

Because even though his ban is for 24 months, he only has to sit out another 7 months before he can race again. That’s because the ban is effective from  more or less when the test first revealed the offense. True, Contador loses all his results and maybe the prize money for the prior 17 months, but that’s peanuts compared to his salary and his endorsement deals, all of which will have been paid out until now. So in effect he doesn’t lose 24 months, but 7 months of income and 24 months of results. Of course having the pressure of the process on your shoulders for 17 months is no laughing matter and also part of the price he pays.

Second winner is Team Saxobank. There may still be a small scare about losing their WorldTour license, but normally speaking their connections are good enough to avoid that. And even if they can’t, they still win. Without Contador, they would have lost that license a year ago, so instead they squeezed another year of revenue out of the system. And of course for Saxobank, you can’t undo the exposure Contador gave them, or the contracts signed with business relations wined and dined at the Tour de France. That’s all in the bank, so to speak.

10 Responses to “Contador & Saxobank the true winners”


  1. […] Comme à l’habitude Gerard (de Cervelo) donne son opinion sur Contador et continue d’honorer son casque blanc. Étant entrain de lire le rapport du TAS sur […]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Your absolutly right about the winners, the biggest loser is cycling again . Its been a rough week for prolonged scandals .

  3. Tim H Says:

    I agree Gerard, just a shame it took nearly two years to get here. The process is not good.


  4. People should read the report. It’s quite interesting.

    it’s still fu**** hard to believe the supplement theory (trace of clubenterol)… and as usual, they are never going to give us the name of the faulty company…

  5. Juan Says:

    What a load of bullshit.

    The only winner here is Armstrong. His case is dropped despite strong hints of fraud and doping just before the superbowl, and oh what a coincidence, the monday after the superbowl, Contador is banned. DESPITE NO PROOF OF GUILT.

    Yeah, yeah, the rules, but other similar cases have got 6 months or one year at most. But hey, it’s Contador, let’s give him two years, and also make him lose every title and every euro he won in that time. And you call that winning?.

    I’d love to know what do you consider losing. It must include some kick in the balls.


    • Sorry, you got your facts wrong.

      Li got two years, that was the most similar case. Well, except that he was Chinese and in China there is a proven, extensive use of clenbuterol in cattle, so his case was actually much stronger.

      And Contador won’t lose anywhere near the money he made in that time period. Even if the 2.4M Euro fine is awarded (which it won’t be), that’s only 6 months of income for him.

      I’ll buy the Armstrong announcement connection with the Superbowl, but not with the Contador decision.

  6. Slapshotjc Says:

    Interesting angle Gerard and I like the logic. My own view is that the sport should be pushing the UCI and WADA to take cross contamination of food an supplements seriously then none of this would have happened unless Alberto had intentionally doped. Preventing doping infractions through sensible sanctions may bea far better way of eradicating the need for the farcical events we’ve see over the last 18months. What you highlight is a large part of the issue, for the best riders and teams the gains through commercialism are massive and where money is involved you will always find someone who will lie and cheat their way to a better deal. Cycling loses its very best asset for the next 7 months, that is not good for our sport

  7. Larry T. Says:

    Glad you’re back blogging again! Interesting take on the Contador fiasco. You illustrate well the benefits of cheating even though one might eventually get caught. I think lifetime bans for dope cheats should the the standard – then reduce them to 2-4 years ONLY if the cheater rats out everyone involved, so they too can be tossed out of the sport. The omerta is still too strong, while some are so powerful they can even prevail (so far anyway) despite it being cracked open by grand jury testimony. I hate to think of “the ones that got away” so I guess you can label me one of those “haters”.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    How do you know what the grand jury testimony is??


  9. Sadly nobody wins – all of it dragged on too longand the sport once again pays the price in extended cycle of another doping scandal.
    Though I agree with you Gerard, Saxo Bank and Contador benefitted in spite of the ham handed handling by WADA and the UCI.
    The one benefit Alberto got was being able to race as long as he did… he will come back faster than Ivan Basso after a two year ban where he didn’t race. Top form comes from racing not just training.
    Unfinished business is the way I see it: in streamlinig the system so it is done in a timely manner. 2, setting a threshold for clenbuterol. 3. A change in the total liability clause in the case of accidental contamination with drugs.**
    and last but least the investigation of Lance Armstrong by WADA and USADA…. Travis Tagart of usada expects to get the grand jury testimony from Novitsky and says they will continue.
    No way to tell what will come of that but WADA will not be trying to build a case based on fraud on a govenment entity and the testimony they have could prove enough to press charges for a doping offence. But were probably in for a long wait.
    ** Riders might be wise to keep sealed samples of the supplements they use for testing if there is ever a question of accidental ingestion of banned substances.
    Cheers, v


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