Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has been cleared of a doping charge by Spain's cycling federation.
Contador made headlines last summer when he tested positive for a small amount of the banned substance clenbuterol after he won the Tour de France for the third time.
A federation investigator recommended that the competition committee issue a one-year ban, due to Contador's test sample, but after hearing the cyclist's defense that the trace amount of clenbuterol was due to ingesting meat tainted with the substance, the committee has decided to clear the rider.
Contador's press office said in a statement:
"Alberto Contador has been officially cleared by the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation and has been authorized to return to competition immediately."
The cleared cyclist posted his reaction on Twitter, tweeting:
"Today is a day of justice, with mixed feelings between joy and sadness for all the damage in recent months. Leaves a mark!"
Cycling rules state there is a zero tolerance for clenbuterol, a weight loss and muscle building drug.
However, the federation says its decision to clear Contador was based on World Anti-Doping Agency rules on how to proceed in cases when "the rider has no responsibility" for testing positive for a banned substance.
We hope they made the right decision and this really was just an unfortunate misunderstanding.
Good luck in the next race, Alberto!
[Image via Getty Images.]