Spain’s Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) races towards Sunday and his second Giro d’Italia win despite a likely doping suspension.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), even though it postponed its hearing date, should stick to the anti-doping rules that state a rider found positive for clenbuterol is guilty regardless of his excuse. Contador tested positive for the drug at last year’s Tour de France, but says he’s innocent. He explained the positive test was a result of eating a contaminated steak purchased in Spain.

If CAS finds him guilty, it may ban him for one to two years and strip him of his third Tour de France win. Since the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) cleared him to race in February, he may keep his second Giro d’Italia win he’s poised to take on Sunday. Even if he’s found guilty, he said that he would not even consider giving the pink jersey back in honour the Giro d’Italia.

“Sincerely?” he responded to Cycling Weekly’s question in a press conference yesterday. “Those are things that don’t even warrant a moment of my time.”

Contador won a small battle yesterday when the CAS announced it will postpone his hearing dates from June 6 to 8. It has yet to announce the new dates, but the hearing may not be until September – after the Tour de France.

Most of the fans that line the Giro d’Italia route, today racing from Bergamo to Macugnaga, support the 28-year-old. He’s part of the sport, and they love the sport. However, the general public’s confidence in Contador will likely dip after the race ends and attention is solely on his doping case.

Yesterday’s press conference was a sign of the coming month. Questions focused mostly on doping and his case after CAS’ announcement hours earlier.

“I don’t really know all about this news – my lawyers are following the details – I am not really following every little detail,” Contador responded to a journalist’s question. “I am very optimistic, when the hearing comes, the truth will come out and in that sense I am very optimistic.”

Contador avoided talking about how the change in CAS hearing dates will likely allow him to race the Tour de France and how it will create even more controversy.

“I am in the Giro d’Italia, it’s very important and I am going to completely focus on it. I don’t even think about anything else – the pink jersey is the only thing that I think about.”

He answered a few other questions about the race. He leads it by nearly five minutes, 4-58 minutes over Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD). The last time the Giro was won by such a margin was in 2006, when Ivan Basso won by 9-18 minutes.

Giro d’Italia 2011: Latest news

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Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 24)

Controversial Crostis climb removed from Giro route

Sky leader Lofkvist loses more time at the Giro

Giro contenders struggle with Contador’s dominance

Contador widens Giro advantage but Tour doping case waits

Porte reflects, one year after Giro success

Le Mevel goes on attack for Giro’s pink jersey

Giro fines Contador for missing press conference

Cavendish responds to ‘team car’ accusations at Giro

Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 15)

Giro’s Sicilian cyclists proud to face Mount Etna

Contador surprises at Giro with attack ahead of mountains

Contador minds food at Giro as CAS decision nears

Weening supported by Rabobank and model Kroes

Local lad Appollonio bears fruit in Fiuggi

Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)

Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour

Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d’Italia

Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro

Tuesday’s Giro stage in memory of Weylandt

Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt

Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash

Giro news shorts (May 8)

Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow

Giro 2011: Who will win?

Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports

Stage 18: Capecchi takes Giro stage win as contenders take day off

Stage 17: Ulissi prevails in controversial Giro sprint

Stage 16: Contador lords it over the rest in Giro TT

Stage 15: Nieve wins mountain marathon as Contador continues at the top

Stage 14: Anton conquers Zoncolan in shortened stage

Stage 13: Contador consolidates Giro overall as Rujano takes stage

Stage 12: Cavendish holds off Appollonio to take second victory

Stage 11: Gadret grabs dramatic stage win

Stage 10: Cavendish opens his Giro account

Stage nine: Contador storms Etna to take Giro lead

Stage eight: Gatto springs late attack to take win

Stage seven: Neo-pro De Clercq wins by a whisker

Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win

Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa

Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line

Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash

Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead

Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro’s opening team time trial

Giro d’Italia 2011: Photo galleries

Stage 18 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 19 live text updates

All previous live coverage can be found here>>

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 16 live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 13 live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 11 live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage five live text updates

Follow the 2011 Giro d’Italia live with Cycling Weekly

Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule

Giro d’Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links

Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

  • MIKE

    What about the plasticiser also present?
    What about the ready made excuse,” oh it was a tainted steak”? Only used cos none of his team mates tested positive. As if anyone eats steak before the queen stage of the Tour.
    What about the UGI giving him a month to come up with the excuse that is more pathetic than “the dog ate my homework”.
    Get real, he had an ilegal substance in his body, so he is guilty, end of story.
    If you have an anti doping programme it must apply to all riders., no exceptions.

  • geoff

    Winning margin 2006 and possible winning margin 2011; Basso; Contador. Nuff said I rest my case!!

  • john

    Numerous athletesand riders have had positive clenbuterol tests overturned. “Excuse” the point sounds biased. It is worth pointing out that it was 50,000,000 millionths of a gram found in his urine in a test that was set at tolerances lower than the WADA limit for a positive.

  • Bill

    I’d love to swear but it just won’t be allowed to get through.