PARIS, Nov 14, 2011 (AFP) – World sport’s top court said Spanish cyclist
Alberto Contador will only learn of an eventual doping ban “several weeks”
after a much-anticipated hearing later this month.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will meet on November 21-24 to
decide whether the three-time Tour de France champion should be banned after
testing positive for minute traces of clenbuterol at the 2010 edition of the
The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) initially cleared Contador of any
wrongdoing after he claimed his sample had been contaminated by a steak which
he ate on the race’s second rest day.
That ruling allowed Contador to continue competing, but was followed by
appeals from the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA) to CAS.
CAS, based in Lausanne, Switzerland postponed a scheduled June hearing on
the Contador case to November, and said Monday it could take several weeks
before his fate is known.
“In the CAS arbitration between the International Cycling Union (UCI) &
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and Alberto Contador & the Spanish Cycling
Federation (RFEC), the hearing will take place in Lausanne from 21 November
2011 at 12:00 (noon) to 24 November 2011 at around 12:30pm.
“The CAS will issue its decision with reasons as soon as possible but
probably not sooner than several weeks following the completion of the
If CAS upholds appeals by the UCI and the WADA, the Spaniard faces a
competition ban and being stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title and the
Giro d’Italia, which he won for a second time this year, and any other
victories since July 2010.
Supporters of Contador, who is regarded as the best stage racer of his
generation, have however been buoyed by the fate of other athletes who have
tested positive for clenbuterol.
Although known as a powerful drug used to treat asthma, clenbuterol can
also help build up lean muscle mass and burn off fat. In some countries
farmers are known to feed it to cattle.
Amid calls from scientists for the introduction of a minimum threshold for
clenbuterol positives, the WADA said in September it would discuss relaxing
the rules governing the drug’s use.
File Photo: Corvos