Reports in the Spanish press suggest that Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) is planning to take part in the first day of the Majorca Challenge as he awaits the announcement of the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s verdict into his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. The Majorca event kicks off the Spanish season this coming Sunday. The CAS verdict is due to be announced the following day.
According to Spanish press agency EFE, Contador is likely to ride the opening event of the Majorca Challenge in Palma on Sunday afternoon, then return to Madrid that evening. However, sources close to the Saxo Bank team leader have indicated that his plans could change. All will depend on the exact day and time that the CAS verdict is delivered. These details will not be finalised before the end of this week.
There is also a good deal of conjecture in the Spanish press about the timing of Contador’s ban if the CAS does not find in his favour. His positive test dates from July 21, 2010. He was initially suspended on August 24 of that same year.
If he is banned for two years and that ban starts from the day of his positive test, Contador won’t be able to ride this year’s Tour de France, but could line up in the Vuelta a España, which starts on August 24. However, if a two-year ban were to be imposed from August 18, he would be unable to start in his national tour that month.
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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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