Contador verdict delayed by CAS

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has again postponed the announcement of its decision on the doping case involving Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank). The ruling was expected by January 31 but the CAS issued a comminqué in which it "intends to publish its decision in the arbitration procedure involving the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Alberto Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) on Monday 6 February 2012.

"A confirmation as to the date and time of the publication of the decision will be given by the CAS at the end of this week."

Recent questions surrounding the composition of the arbitration panel caused a delay in the decision process, which has now been pending for almost one year. In March 2011, the UCI and WADA appealed the Spanish cycling federation's decision to clear Contador of doping charges caused by his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

The CAS decision will be the last chapter in the long story of whether or not the Tour de France winner should be banned for having returned a positive sample for clenbuterol. Contador has maintained his innocence, saying the finding was caused by his ingestion of tainted meat, whereas the UCI and WADA have raised doubts on his explanation and insist on the strict application of the world anti-doping code.

The Saxo Bank rider has already started his 2012 racing programme at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, which he finished in second overall position behind Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

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