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Reuters: CAS cannot guarantee Contador hearing before Tour start

How much longer will the “caso Contador” drag on now that the UCI has decided to appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport? According to a report by Reuters, the sporting world’s high court might not be able to take on the complicated case before the start of…

How much longer will the “caso Contador” drag on now that the UCI has decided to appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport?

According to a report by Reuters, the sporting world’s high court might not be able to take on the complicated case before the start of the 2011 Tour de France.

“I am puzzled that the UCI have waited until the very last moment to appeal,” CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb told Reuters. “We lost a few precious weeks because of that.”

That delay is everyone’s nightmare, especially with Alberto Contador’s insistence that he will keep racing during his appeal process.

Contador’s temporary suspension was lifted in February when the Spanish cycling federation decided not to ban him on the clenbuterol charges. Until CAS makes a decision that would include a ban, Contador is free to race.

The 2011 Tour starts on July 2 and Contador is pushing ahead with an aggressive racing schedule that includes a run at the Giro d’Italia in May.

“If the parties really want a quick decision, we can arrange that”, Reeb told Reuters. “But from what I heard from one of his lawyers, we are heading for a fierce defense. I am pessimistic we can make a ruling before the end of June.”

Whether Contador would line up at the start of the Tour with a possible ban still hanging over his head remains to be seen. Tour officials, however, previously said they hope the Contador case can be closed before the start of the Tour.

Contador has strongly denied doping charges, but is facing a possible two-year ban and disqualification of his 2010 Tour victory if CAS rules against him.