Alberto Contador forges ahead in the lead while Levi Leipheimer and Michele Scarponi try to limit their losses.
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Agency's appeal will run separately to the UCI's
The World Anti-Doping Agency has announced that it too will appeal the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation's decision to acquit Alberto Contador of clenbuterol use charges.
"The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has filed today a declaration to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne against the Spanish Cycling Federation's (RFEC) decision in the case of Alberto Contador," it announced via statement. "Mr. Contador was acquitted following a positive test for clenbuterol during an in-competition test carried out on July 21, 2010."
WADA says it will not be making any further comment on the matter.
Last week, the International Cycling Union (UCI) also announced its appeal to the CAS "an in-depth study of the file received from" the Spanish cycling federation.
Unlike in the case of Alejandro Valverde, the organisation's appeals are being raised separately. Contador meantime, is free to race for the duration of the appeals process.
The Spaniard will race both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, where he is defending champion, under a cloud. Officials from both events have been open in their frustration over the situation.
"The judicial system in sport is slower than that we'd hoped and it's clear that something is not working because it hasn't protected our event," Giro d'Italia director Angelo Zomegnan lamented to Tuttobiciweb during the presentation of events that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification during this year's Giro d'Italia.
"My hands are tied and I certainly can't force Contador to stay at home if he and his team want to ride. He's innocent until proven guilty and a rider cleared in a hearing is free to race. But obviously it's not an ideal situation."
Speaking to L'Equipe last week, Tour de France general director Christian Prudhomme indicated that he felt the saga had already dragged on for too long after news broke of Contador's positive test last September.
"What concerns us is that there should be a line drawn under this affair and a definitive decision taken," Prudhomme explained.
"CAS is sport's highest jurisdiction. We do not want a response but THE response - we have waited too long."