Alberto Contador has been given a one-year ban by the Spanish Cycling Federation following his positive doping test during last year’s Tour de France.
The Spaniard was informed of the decision on Wednesday night and has 10 days to appeal.
Contador tested positive for clenbuterol, a muscle building and weight-loss drug, on July 21, but the Saxo Bank rider, who this year joined Bjarne Riis’ team from Astana, insists it was as a result of eating contaminated meat.
Contador went on to win the 2010 Tour, beating Andy Schleck by 39 seconds, but now faces being stripped of what was his third title, after victories in 2007 and 2009.
The 28-year-old submitted the urine sample on the Tour’s second rest day, before his head-to-head battle on the Col du Tourmalet, where the race was effectively won.
A Wada-accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany, found a “very small concentration” of clenbuterol in the sample.
The amount was 400 times less than the 50 picograms which the laboratories accredited by Wada must be able to detect.
Contador, who is currently on a Saxo Bank training camp on Majorca, will hold a press conference with Riis on Friday afternoon.
The case is another blow to professional cycling’s reputation, with Lance Armstrong currently at the centre of a federal investigation in the United States after Flloyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title, alleged the seven-time Tour winner had doped.