Alberto Contador’s fate should be announced in January, according to AP, who reported Monday that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would reach a verdict in the first month of 2012.
The Spaniard’s case will be heard next week and is scheduled to last four days.
According to AP, CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb says the three-man appeal panel likely needs “six to eight weeks” to publish its ruling.
Reeb says the wait is “normal for a case of this complexity.”
Earlier this month Contador told the press that he was confident of victory, having already been cleared by the Spanish federation for testing positive at the 2010 Tour de France.
The UCI and WADA lodged separate appeals against the decision.
“When you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear,” he insisted. “I’m fighting as a matter of pride, and it’s unthinkable to accept any kind of sanction,” Contador said.
WADA has said it would seek a full two-year ban on the rider for his clenbuterol positive, while the UCI will look to have him stripped of his Tour title, but Contador is already planning his 2012 season in anticipation of the appeals being overturned.
Contador was found positive for a minute quantity of the drug, which is thought to increase aerobic capacity as well aid in fat loss. However, the lab which found the clenbuterol in his sample was using ultra-sensitive machines able to sniff out levels of the drug which would normally go undetected.
The inconsistency of the testing from lab to lab has led to speculation that WADA would impose a lower limit for declaring a sample positive.