The decision in Alberto Contador's doping case could be handed down by the Spanish cycling federation “any day”, according to the rider's lawyer. Andy Ramos also said that his defence is based upon that of several other athletes who avoided bans after claiming they did not voluntarily use doping products.
Ramos told the AP news agency that the decision could be handed down soon. There has been speculation that the Real Federacion Espanola de Ciclismo could rule before Christmas, but other sources have said that the disciplinary committee will need several months to read the file.
Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol on the second rest day of the Tour de France, and his defence is that he ingested it inadvertently through eating contaminated meat.
“Not one of the scientists we have worked with has said it couldn’t have been anything but contamination,” Ramos told the AP in a telephone interview. “The levels are ridiculous—it couldn’t be anything else.”
The attorneys have cited several other cases, in which athletes were not banned or received short bans after positive doping tests, when they showed how they could have been inadvertently doped.
One of them is French tennis player Richard Gasquet, who tested positive for cocaine in March 2009. He claimed that the cocaine entered his body when he kissed a woman who had consumed the drug. He served a two and half month suspension that year.
The World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Tennis Federation asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to give him a two-year ban, but the court accepted the “kissing” claim.
Perhaps more relevant to Contador's case is that of German table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who also tested positive for Clenbuterol this fall. He was cleared of the charges after the German federation found that the test resulted from contaminated meat he ate while at a tournament in China. The World Anti-Doping Agency has indicated that it may appeal that decision to the CAS.