The Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced that it will deliver its final verdict on the Clenbuterol doping case involving Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) before the end of June. This should ensure that Contador will know whether he will be banned or not some days before the start of this year’s Tour on July 2.
In a statement about the hearing that sees Contador and the Spanish cycling federation pitched against the UCI and WADA, CAS revealed: “The written proceedings in this matter are likely to be concluded at the end of May and the CAS envisages to hold a hearing in June 2011, which would allow the settlement of the dispute before the end of June 2011. The hearing date will be published once it has been fixed.”
If CAS finds in favour of the UCI and WADA, Contador will face a ban of at least one year and the loss of the 2010 Tour title. He could also be stripped of any titles won in the intervening period, as was the case when the CAS upheld the decision to ban Alejandro Valverde last year.
On the other hand, if the CAS panel comes out in favour of Contador and the Spanish federation, the decision would probably lead to the eventual implementation of a lower threshold for Clenbuterol.
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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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