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22.04.2016 @ 08:40 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Alberto Contador has called for any rider caught using mechanical doping to be suspended for life. The Tinkoff rider made the comments at an event in Belgium where he also repeated his desire to "continue next year".


"Mechanical fraud is indeed a hot topic now," Contador said according to Cyclingnews. "I do not expect that someone in the pro peloton will be caught. There are still extensive checks? Which fool will get it into his head to take part in that story? It is unfortunate that cycling is that now confronting this again."


"First there was the fight against doping. The hubbub had died down and now the affair of mechanical fraud. It's a pity. I therefore believe that anyone caught in such matters must be dealt with. A lifetime suspension must be the only verdict. No pardon," added Contador.


Postponement of retirement?

On another note, Contador once again spoke about his plans for retirement. Contador began the current season with the intention of hanging up his bike and calling it quits once it was over. However, during the Tour of the Basque Country, a race he's now won four times, Contador hinted that he might continue racing in 2017. While the 33-year-old Spaniard has changed his mind about his retirement plans, he isn't making any adjustments to his build up to the Tour de France in July.


"I need in a short period of rest and then rebuild what comes with the Tour de France," said Contador who was third overall in the Algarve and second at both Paris-Nice and Catalunya before his Basque win.


"The run-up to the Tour de France is likely to again go via the Dauphiné. But in the next few days I'll explore some important stages of the Tour. And there is also a training camp scheduled."


2017 prospects

Contador might have changed his decision to hang up his wheels but Tinkoff team owner Oleg Tinkov maintains his decision to withdraw his sponsorship of the team at the close of the 2016 season. Behind the scenes, team manager Stefano Feltrin continues his quest to secure a new title sponsor by the end of the Giro in May. Whether or not this is sufficient to keep Contador on the team roster for 2017 remains to be seen.


"There is also the fact that Tinkoff stops sponsoring the team," Contador said of the current situation. "People are still looking for new backers. I myself had contact with other teams and maybe I can get my own team of the ground? Look, there are so many moves, but there is still nothing concrete. I now want to concentrate more on me and the next Tour de France."



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