Madrid: A grim-faced Alberto Contador said food poisoning was to blame for his positive dope test and the three-times Tour de France winner could "hold his head high" and should not face sanctions.
The Spaniard has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a "very small concentration" of banned anabolic agent clenbuterol during this year`s race, cycling`s governing body said on Thursday.
Speaking at a packed press conference in a hotel on the outskirts of his home town of Pinto, Contador told reporters his failed test came as a result of eating contaminated meat.
"It`s a case of food poisoning, in which I am the victim," Contador said.
"Whether people believe me or not, I know I can hold my head high and I`m not going to hide."
Contador`s B test returned a reading of 0.000 000 000 05 grams of clenbuterol per mililitre, he said.
"Only four laboratories in the world have enough equipment to find it, and in any other it would have been indetectable," said Contador.
"This is a real error. The system is very questionable and it has to be changed. I cannot tolerate the idea of a possible sanction."