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WADA joins UCI in Contador appeal

The World Anti-Doping Agency has joined the UCI in appealing the decision by Spain’s cycling federation to absolve Alberto Contador of doping charges result from a positive test for clenbuterol at last year’s Tour de France.

The anti-doping agency moved quickly, following the cycling body’s decision to appeal an earlier ruling by the Spanish federation (REFC). In February, a four member REFC panel had cleared Contador, concluding that the trace amounts of clenbuterol in his system were the result of accidental ingestion. Contador had suggested that the drug had been present in a steak he consumed on the evening prior to the second rest day of the Tour.

The UCI held off on filing an appeal in the case until March 24, just hours before its right to appeal expired. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA has an additional 20 days to decide whether to appeal or not.

In a brief statement issued on Tuesday, WADA simply announced that it was joining the appeal and would make no further comment on the matter until the case is resolved.

“The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has filed today a declaration to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne against the Spanish Cycling Federation’s (RFEC) decision in the case of Alberto Contador. Mr. Contador was acquitted following a positive test for clenbuterol during an in-competition test carried out on July 21, 2010. Following its policy, WADA will refrain from commenting further in order to protect the integrity of the process.

CAS officials have not schedule a hearing for the appeal, but one official recently noted that a final decision in the case could come as late as August, leaving the door open for Contador to return to France in defense of his 2010 Tour title.

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