Meat Producers have Beef with Contador

Cyclist Alberto Contador has really caused a beef with Spanish meat producers.

The three-time Tour de France winner has claimed that his recent banned substance suspension came from contaminated beef. But the defensive after the Basque Health Department spoke out on behalf of meat producers.

Spokesman José Blanco told AS newspaper that beef producers have "always passed all controls without problems -- and our controls are demanding."

The news comes two days after Spain's association of beef producers asked for an explanation into Contador's claims.

Contador could lose his third Tour title and face a two-year ban if found guilty of using clenbuterol, a banned muscle-building and weight-loss drug.

On the bright side for the cyclist, Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis has welcomed him in training camp.

Contador was included in a 25-man roster that will start team-building in Spain on Sunday.

"I think it is important that we all remember that Alberto is not guilty until a judgement is made that indicates something otherwise," Riis said. "This has been the message from the UCI, and I think we should all respect that. We halve also met with the UCI, and they have assured us that there are no problems in taking Alberto to our team-building camp."

Riis earlier said he trusted Contador's explanation that the drug came from a contaminated steak.

Contador signed a deal in August to compete for Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011 after deciding to leave Astana.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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