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SAN PELLEGRINO TERME, Italy (VN) – Alberto Contador refused to speculate if he might race the Tour de France later this summer if a hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport is delayed beyond July.
Contador would be able to race the Tour in July if a CAS hearing isn’t held until after July. His ongoing clenbuterol case would remain unresolved and he would technically be allowed to keep racing, since the most recent action in the case was the decision by the Spanish federation clearing him of wrongdoing. That decision stands unless the UCI and/or WADA is successful in appealing it.
After defending his pink jersey at the Giro in Thursday’s short but fast stage at the Giro d’Italia, Contador refused to speculate on his imminent future when queried by journalists.
“I’m at the Giro and this is very important and I am going to completely focus on this,” Contador said. “I want to give 100 percent of my attention to this. I don’t even think about anything else. The maglia rosa is the only thing on my mind until we get to Milano.”
CAS confirmed Thursday that a scheduled hearing set for early June has been postponed.
Officials are set to meet next week to discuss a new date, but if the CAS hearing is postponed into August or September, as one Spanish federation lawyer suggested, Contador would be free to race the Tour despite having a two-year ban and the possible disqualification hanging over his head.
“I don’t really know about the latest developments. My lawyers are following the details,” Contador said. “I am very optimistic about the case. The hearing will give us a chance to make our case and the truth can come out, so in that sense, I am very optimistic.”
One journalist asked if Contador would give back his pink jersey, assuming he wins when the Giro ends Sunday in Milan, if he lost his case before CAS and was disqualified from the 2010 Tour.
“Are you serious?” Contador said with a laugh. “There are some things that don’t even warrant a second of my time.”
Another journalist queried about why people should believe in his defense, with Contador replying: “It’s obvious that some cases are different than others. When it comes time to speak about it, you can tell if someone is telling the truth or not.”