And on, and on, and on…

Back in April Cyclo (rather optimistically) reported that it looked like an end could be in sight with regards to the on-going  Alberto Contador doping controversy when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced that it would be reviewing the case and that: “…written proceedings in this matter are likely to be concluded at the end of May and the CAS envisages to hold a hearing in June 2011, which would allow the settlement of the dispute before the end of June 2011.” This would of course have meant that everything would be neatly wrapped up before the start of this year’s Tour de France (July 2) at which the Saxo Bank-SunGard star will be defending his title. Well, no such luck…


CAS has now announced that the case involving the taking/accidental ingestion of clenbuterol levelled against the Spaniard will be heard after the Tour; a ridiculous state of affairs that does nothing for the ever-declining image of pro racing. Assuming Contador were to bag another win at the Tour this year (and he looks strong enough to) he could, if the Lausanne-based court finds against him, be stripped of his success, plus his 2010 title and even his recent standing at the Giro d’Italia. In other words a cloud of doubt will hang over more than a year’s worth of results whilst CAS edge painfully slowly towards making any kind of ruling.


Contador remains adamant that the traces of clenbuterol – which is similar to the asthma drug salbutamol and gives advantageous  aerobic capacity – found its way into his system via contaminated meat. He was initially cleared by The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) before that decision was challenged by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Cyclo would be bored of this story if it didn’t have such wide-reaching ramifications and weren’t doing quite so much to damage the sport we love.


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