Just days after World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey complained in the Spanish press about “the slowness of Spanish justice”, it is being reported that the verdict in Alberto Contador’s clenbuterol case may be delayed until February.
According to Spanish daily AS, the president and three members of the federation’s competitions committee are currently studying the dossiers that outline and contest Contador’s positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. Sources at the federation have told AS that the number and complexity of the documents involved could result in the committee going beyond the January date when their verdict on the case had been expected.
This delay could have repercussions further into the upcoming racing season given that there is likely to be an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the verdict on Contador is delivered. Fahey indicated in an interview with El País earlier this week that WADA is likely to appeal if the Spanish federation finds in Contador’s favour. Likewise, Contador’s defence team is almost certain to appeal to the CAS if the three-time Tour winner is found guilty of doping.
Given that the CAS takes up to six months to deliver a verdict on the cases it hears, this could mean that there will be no definitive verdict in the Contador case before the Spaniard starts the planned defence of his Tour title in July.
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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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