Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis arrived in Australia for the Santos Tour Down Under hours before news broke that the Court of Arbitration for Sport had pushed back the final decision in Alberto Contador’s long-running clenbuterol case. CAS will not announce a verdict on the case of Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) versus the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI until the end of January.
Speaking with Cyclingnews on the start line of Stage 1 in Prospect on the outskirts of Adelaide, Riis was measured in his comments regarding the latest development in the case which has now been running since the Spaniard learned of his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France in August of the same year.
"Now we just wait for this final decision," Riis shrugged. "We hoped it would have happened by now but we will wait another couple of weeks.
"I don't really have too many comments on this to be honest. We have been waiting so long we can wait another two weeks. For now, he [Contador] is just focused on his season."
When asked on his thoughts regarding Flavio Becca's claims that there was a bias from Israeli judge Ephraim Barak towards Contador given Saxo Bank held their training camp in Israel, Riis refused to comment.
Riis, who is in Australia for the duration of the Tour Down Under, is hopeful that his team will perform well in the first WorldTour event of the 2012 season.
"We have a strong, well-prepared team," he said. "I hope we have a couple of riders who can be up there in the GC and get some good results this week. That's our plan."
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As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.
Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.
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