The case of Alberto Contador’s positive test for clenbuterol at last year’s Tour de France is set to be dragged out even longer after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has once again postponed the hearing.

According to a CAS press release issued today, the appeal is likely to be rescheduled to dates in November.

The postponement has come at the request of the World Anti-Doping Agency, with the unanimous agreement of all involved parties, to allow “a second round of written submissions”.

This will allow the parties “to complete their evidence and arguments relating to some specific scientific issues”.

This is the second time the appeal has been moved back.

Originally filed by the UCI and WADA against the decision of the Spanish Cycling Federation’s (RFEC) February decision to exonerate Contador of any sanction, it had been due to take place in early June.

However the RFEC requested more time to prepare evidence, which resulted in a rescheduling of the appeal until the first three days in August.

That it is WADA who have requested this second delay suggests they may wish to bring new evidence to the appeal.

Alternatively Alberto Contador and the RFEC may have presented evidence that WADA want more time to respond to.

WADA has a very successful record in cases that it has chosen to appeal.

According to the organisation’s 2010 annual report, WADA reviewed 1,410 decisions last year and appealed 14 of them to CAS and other affiliated federations and appeals bodies.

Of those: nine were upheld, while the other five were still pending at the year’s end.

It has now been over a year since Contador gave an adverse analytical sample on the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France (July 21). News of positive took two months to formally enter the public domain, following his victory in that year’s race.

He claimed the positive sample was the result of eating contaminated meat.

Because of his clearance by the Spanish Federation he was allowed to ride this year’s Tour. However, he was unable to repeat this victory, finishing fifth and thus ending a run of winning every Grand Tour he’d started since 2007.

Contador will be free to continue racing at least until the appeal is heard.

Related links

CAS confirms postponement of Contador hearing

Contador hearing could be delayed until after Tour

Contador clenbuterol case: CAS selects hearing panel

CAS to make Contador decision before Tour de France

WADA appeals against Contador acquittal

UCI to appeal to CAS in Contador case

Contador now cleared of clenbuterol charges

Spanish media claims Contador could avoid ban

Contador could use ‘Gasquet’s Kiss’ theory to back case

Contador says he will fight on despite provisional ban

UCI awaits final Spanish decision in Contador case

Contador tests positive for clenbuterol

  • Michael Mace

    Oh come on CAS. Get a grip. You keep dragging this out and out and you look like a lot of silly old men.
    I speak as a 65 year old.
    This years Tour was brilliant and we managed to watch five stage over the three weeks as we did our own Tour de France. (By Car)
    Well done Cav. and great effort by Team Sky.
    Mike. Isle of Skye. (Still in France, still touring. Life is good.

  • barry davies

    looks like WADA has a big problem with footballers being found with many more the amount that Alberto was found to have in their failed tests.
    And as footballers do not do drugs, then they are trying to cover it up, and it also helps the Contador case.

  • Brian

    The concept or state of being clean does not exist, we need to understand that. Food in it’s purest form is performance enhancing. There is no fence between right or wrong it’s just a question of degree and variation against a control. Who’s right, who’s wrong, who knows? – No one really knows.

  • Mike

    Why another delay? They gave him a month to come up with his lame excuse in the first place.
    They dont need any more time. Both of his samples tested positive for a banned substance. End of story.
    If they let him get away with this the flood gates will open for anyone even thinking of doping. They will have a ready made excuse. “It must have been the steak I ate last night, If it gets Contador off its good enough for me”.
    The athlete is responsible for what is in his/her body, and the plasticiser in his blood seems to be conveniently forgotten. He was blood doping at last years Tour and the clenbuterol was in his blood transfusion.
    Tainted steak? Yea, and I was born yesterday. Modern riders dont eat steak, everything is monitored and measured by there team.

  • Clive

    To me it looks like CAS don’t see how they can close this one. If he’s guilty make it stick and ban him. Otherwise its time to move on and introduce a minimum level if this is what happens. They’re tainting the rider by dragging their heels whether he deserves it or not. Gasquet like scenario even though alberto’s ” contaminated meat” story sounds ludicrous.

  • Jon

    I have to disagree with Robert on this one. To allow him to get off the hook on the basis of a flimsy excuse and a year of procrastination is not good for the sport and give the message that you can dope and get away with it.

    Yes he’s a great rider, but he appears to have succumbed to temptation and should serve a two year ban for it, and be stripped of the 2010 Tour title. The prolonged delay is damaging to cycling but it appears to have been instigated by Contador or his backers in an attempt to buy time and get him off the hook.

  • robert wright

    Alberto Contador remains one of the greatest grand tour riders. His victoory in the Giro d’Italia 2011 showed his amazing class, and in view of the accusations he faces, he must have been riding squeaky clean. Fatigued from the Giro, his performance in Le Tour 2011, was brave, though marred by ill luck. The investigations hanging over him have gone on far too long, and must have affected his performance too. Let’s hope it is clarified as soon as possible, so that a great talent may continue his racing life.

  • Phil Riley

    Surely now is the time to bury this whole thing. Read the metro this morning, it had an article on cycling in the sports pages. Guess what is was about, Contador and the appeal. How much longer is this going to be allowed to drag on?