Contador CAS hearing set for August

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) takes the spoils.

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) takes the spoils. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has set the dates for the hearing of the UCI and WADA v. Alberto Contador appeal for August 1-3. The dates are listed on the court's web site. The hearing was postponed from its original time frame, June 6-8, after Contador's lawyers requested an extension.

The delay leaves the Tour de France without a decision on who the winner of last year's race will be before the grand depart of the 2011 edition on the Passage du Gois on July 2.

It also throws into question whether or not Contador will get to keep his 2011 Giro d'Italia victory and the other results achieved since the doping case came to light.

Contador tested positive for a small amount of a banned stimulant, Clenbuterol, during the 2010 Tour de France, but was able to convince the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) that the drug came from contaminated food and he faced no disciplinary action. The UCI and WADA separately appealed the decision to the CAS and if they are successful in reversing the verdict of the RFEC, Contador will face a sporting ban and the loss of his 2010 Tour title.

The UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews today that it would also seek to nullify Contador's 2011 results should it win the appeal to CAS.

"[The] UCI asked [that] all his results between the day of the control and the first day of the suspension to be disqualified (according art 10.8 of WADA code and art 313 of UCI antidoping rules). Obviously CAS could take a different decision, which we would accept without any problem," said UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani.

Contador resumed racing following the February 15 decision by the RFEC, netting a fourth place overall in the Volta ao Algarve, and victories in the Vuelta a la Region de Murcia, Volta a Catalunya, a stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon as well as his two stage victories and overall win in the Giro d'Italia.

Michele Scarponi, runner-up in both the Giro d'Italia and Catalunya, could stand to inherit both victories should Contador's doping acquittal be reversed.

Whether or not Contador will be allowed to race the Tour de France remains to be seen.

Two-time Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans told the Sydney Morning Herald that he wants the decision to be made soon.

''I just hope justice prevails,'' Evans said. ''If he is innocent, well, I hope he is proven innocent. If he is positive, well, he deserves to be punished. Why it takes so long, I am with a little bit with everyone on that one … a little bit mystified.

''In our job we get paid more when we go faster but [with] lawyers, it seems to be the other way round."

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme had expressed dismay earlier this month on the delay, telling the AFP, "We are surprised because the CAS had repeatedly declared that the decision would be made before the start."

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