SPANISH cyclist Alberto Contador has been stripped of his 2010 Tour de France win for having taken a prohibited drug. He was also banned from racing for two years.
The verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport is a heavy blow for Contador and means the 2010 win will go to runner-up Andy Schleck of Luxembourg.
Contador had tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned asthma drug. Contador claimed he had eaten steak which contained remnants of the drug from a farmer's usage. Clenbuterol can be used to beef up cattle but it is banned for use in food production in both the US and Europe.
He was initially cleared last February by his Spanish cycling federation but the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union UCI lodged appeals to the CAS.
The two-year ban means Contador, who won last year's Giro d'Italia, has now been stripped of all his wins since the 2010 Tour. The ban lasts until August 6 this year, so he will not be able to race in this year's Tour de France.
Meanwhile, in the US, federal prosecutors are dropping a two-year long doping and fraud investigation into former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. No charges are to be brought against Armstrong, who won the Tour a record seven times
His ex-US Postal Service team mate Floyd Landis was stripped of his Tour de France title in 2006 for taking drugs.