World sport’s top court said on Tuesday it has agreed to postpone a doping hearing concerning Spanish three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, with the new dates likely to be in November.
“As a consequence of the parties’ request, the hearing which was scheduled for 1, 2 and 3 August, 2011 is cancelled and will be rescheduled for new dates, probably in November 2011,” said the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a statement, marking the second delay in the hearing.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and world cycling’s governing body UCI are appealing against the Spanish cycling federation’s (RFEC) decision to acquit 28-year-old Contador over a failed doping case. The case was originally due to be heard before CAS over three days in Lausanne from June 6-8 in order to have the decision before the start of the Tour de France on July 2. But Contador’s defence team was granted a delay until August.
Just a week ahead of the rescheduled hearing, the CAS said the latest request for the delay was put forward by the dispute’s complainant WADA, with the unanimous agreement of other parties in the dispute. The delay would allow time for another round of written submissions on some scientific issues, added the Lausanne-based court. The new dates would be fixed in the coming days, it added.
Contador tested positive for a tiny amount of the banned muscle-building substance clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France, which he went on to win. But he was cleared to compete when the RFEC rescinded an initial decision to hand down a one-year competition ban, accepting the rider’s claim that he had unknowingly consumed drug-contaminated meat and was therefore not negligent. Contador finished fifth in this year’s Tour.