April 2, 2011 (Lausanne, Switzerland) – The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is confident that a decision can be reached before this year’s Tour de France regarding the Alberto Contador Velasco (Esp) Saxo Bank Sungard appeals according to a release on the CAS site. This year’s Tour de France starts on July 2.
“The parties will now have the opportunity to file written submissions including all their arguments and evidence. The CAS Secretary General has informed the parties that the CAS would be ready to establish a procedural calendar allowing for the settlement of the dispute before the end of June 2011,” reads an excerpt from that release.
Contador [then with Astana] won the 2010 TdF, but tested positive during the Tour for minute quantities of a banned substance, clenbuterol. Earlier this year, the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) initially proposed a one-year ban on the 28-year-old Spanish rider, but then reversed its position and cleared Spain’s top rider.
Both the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have filed appeals against Contador’s acquittal by the RFEC. The CAS registered the UCI’s appeal on March 25 and WADA’s appeal on March 30, suggesting that the two plaintiffs are acting independently.
Contador could face a two-year ban from pro cycling and be stripped of his 2010 TdF title. It’s unlikely that the CAS will reach any decision before the 2011 Giro starts on May 7. As such, Contador will likely race the Giro ‘sub-judice’ and, depending on how quickly the CAS acts, may also race the TdF sub-judice.