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Beef boys punch back

other Updated: Nov 24, 2010 23:25 IST
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Spain's beef producers are stepping up defense of their product after cyclist Alberto Contador blamed contaminated meat for his positive doping test at the Tour de France.

The Basque Health Department tells AS newspaper it has never had problems with the Spanish meat distributor or butcher that Contador alleges the meat came from.

Spokesman Jose Blanco says "they've 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. Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis however says Contador "is not guilty" until the opposite is proven.