“Thank god that’s over,” pretty much sums up the office reaction to the seemingly never-ending Alberto Contador fiasco.
This sad, sorry saga dragged on for more than 18 months, but at least after all that time CAS didn’t wimp out of its responsibilities. Contador is duly charged with an anti-doping violation, but as the potentially career-ending two-year ban is backdated, it’ll only actually mean six months away from racing.
The Spaniard will be back for the Vuelta in August and is already the bookmakers’ favourite for another Grand Tour victory.
He’s been stripped of both the 2010 Tour de France and last year’s Giro, but he’ll probably be adding to his palmarès again just eight days after the Olympic road race. That doesn’t seem right and it’s certainly not any deterrent to other potential lawbreakers.
So far there have been no financial repercussions. CAS, never known for rushing its decisions, has yet to rule on this one.
It could sting a bit, the UCI has requested a minimum fine of £2.1 million, but that’s still small fry compared to the salary, endorsements and winnings Contador amassed while the legal wrangling dragged on.
Maybe his former teams and the race organisers should ask for their money back?
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly