8 Feb 2012

WADA boss warns politicians

7:21 am on 8 February 2012

The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, John Fahey, has labelled Alberto Contador a "doping cheat" and said he might have escaped with half of his two-year doping ban had it not been for remarks by a Spanish politician during the case.

WADA's president also issued a general warning to politicians to steer clear of doping cases, and he's concerned as to whether national sports federations, who are responsible for disciplining offenders, might be sympathetic to their own athletes.

In January last year, the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero publicly declared Contador's innocence after the Spanish Cycling Federation had banned the rider for 12 months.

John Fahey said that gave WADA no choice but to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and Contador was banned retroactively for two years.