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'Contador a doping cheat'

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey labelled Alberto Contador a "doping cheat" on Tuesday...

Spain's Alberto Contador (R) speeds in 15th stage of the 2010 Tour de France. Picture: AFP

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey labelled Alberto Contador a "doping cheat" on Tuesday and said the Spanish rider might have escaped with half of his two-year doping ban had it not been for remarks by a Spanish politician during the case.

The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency added that politicians should steer clear of doping cases and said he was worried as to whether national sports federations, who have the responsibility to discipline offenders, might be sympathetic to their own athletes.

"I think that governments and politicians ought to stand back and stay above the administration of these issues when it comes to doping in sport," Fahey told Reuters in an interview.

"Contador is a doping cheat, full stop."

In January 2011, the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) initially proposed a one-year ban for Contador after he tested positive for the banned steroid clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France, which he won.

The then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said there was no legal reason to sanction Contador and shortly afterwards, the RFEC overturned the ban, clearing the way for Contador to return to competition.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) and WADA then appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who announced a two-year ban for Contador on Monday.

"I can say with regard to the Contador decision, it was regrettable that, when the Spanish federation proposed a 12-month penalty, a senior politician made a statement to say that Contador was innocent," said Fahey, who did not mention Zapatero by name.