Alberto Contador will return to Europe on Tuesday with a second place overall, two mountain-top stage wins and the King of the Mountains title in the recently completed Tour of San Luis stage race in Argentina in his suitcase.

However, all that success palls into insignificance compared with the fast-looming verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over his clenbuterol case that could see him face up to a two-year ban from the sport.

A verdict from CAS was expected during the week commencing January 30, but CAS issued a statement on Monday saying that the verdict will be delivered on February 6.

The final stage of San Luis was won by Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) in a sprint. It was the Belgian’s first victory since Ghent-Wevelgem last spring. The overall victory went to Boonen’s team-mate Levi Leipheimer.

Contador, meanwhile, is due to return to Madrid very early on Tuesday morning after travelling for almost two days on the trot, for a verdict for his positive test for clenbuterol that could see him stripped of his most recent Tour de France title, in 2010.

Whatever the verdict it will have major consequences for sport’s fight against doping, as well as deciding the future of cycling’s top stage racer of the last few years.

The Spaniard – who claims that the minute traces of clenbuterol found in his body in July 2010 were due to a contaminated beef steak – has continued to assert his innocence throughout a legal process that has dragged on for over 18 months.

He has taken extra precautions during his race in Argentina: according to website, the Spaniard did not eat any beef during the time he spent there.

Should Contador be declared innocent, then he will continue to race. His next event is the Tour of Mallorca, starting early next week.

Related links

Contador takes second stage win in Argentina

Contador takes another win as he waits for final verdict from CAS

Contador clenbuterol decision due at end of January

Alberto Contador’s clenbuterol case in brief

  • Jo Carter

    Any cyclist found to have used banned substances should pay a penalty. Imagine the influence on the newer generation, if he was to get away with it.
    I believe that he might be too high profile to be banned for long, if he is to be banned. I also believe he is a superb cyclist with or without drugs and would love to see him ride free of concern again. I agree that he is “a spectacle”
    Hope this does not drag on much longer than the 6th feb too.

  • Frank Green

    Please god dont ban Contador we’d just have a load of robots otherwise. Contadors attack on d’huez this year was what cycling is supposed to be about- a spectacle. We’d have Evans and Wiggins boring us to death instead. All these cycle purists remember the classic riders of the past, they all doped, dont delude yourselves and think that the dopers of the last 10 years are the worst. Alberto go veggie, he was on the soya beans i bet, cos we all know that soya wiil contain more protein and less fat.

  • Graham Davis, Sr.

    This whole episode is a farce. If the ICU, WADA and CAS can’t do their job within a reasonable time say 90 days then dump the lot. Which one is corrupt???

  • Baz

    A puzzling feature of this case has always been the way the “contaminated meat” explanation was offered so soon after the test result was first announced – as though it was there, ready, waiting for its moment. I expect it’ll turn out that those plasticisers are used in abbatoirs. I can see the headlines next week already: “Alberto innocent. It was the beef wot done it”

  • steve clarke

    Guilty or not guilty that is still the question! This case has been taking much too long and does not do the image of Professional Cycling any good at all. Bet there will be more delays/feeble excuses on 6th Feb!!!
    What a complete farce by all concerned!!!!

  • g gartrell

    What a farce!!! and now “Bertie’s gone “veggie”

  • Ken Evans

    What about the traces of plasticisers, as used in blood bags, that were also found ?

  • DaveB

    It’s against the rule to have banned substances in your blood, intentionally or unintentionally. Simple.

    If he’d said that he hadn’t taken the stuff intentionally but out of respect for the sport, he would accept the ban and fight to prove his innocence, a. I would have believed him and b. It would have been sorted out a lot quicker!

  • Nigel collins

    Just another witch hunt.
    Give this guy a break.
    I assume that he must be racing legally now,and he is still winning races.
    We are talking about an almost untraceable amount of clenbuteral.
    Move on.
    If he is abusing then the WADA will be on him like a ton of bricks.
    Comments please.!

  • Colnago dave

    And now the verdict has been delayed yet again till February the 6th, what a bunch of tosspots CAS are. Contador is guilty intentionally or not but by now I’m tired of the whole process and really could not give a toss.
    Contador should not have been allowed to compete till this was resolved one way or other. If all parties UCI, WADA & CAS had been threatened by a loss of income threat from Contador during this “Enforced Rest” then you would have seen some action.

  • AlanR

    Decision put back to 6th Feb. Ridiculous..