Spain’s cycling federation president expects the Alberto Contador doping case to end up in the hands of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) no matter what decision is made by authorities currently reviewing the case.
Juan Carlos Castaño told the Spanish daily AS that he doesn’t expect a decision by the federation’s four-member competition committee until the middle of January and added that any ruling will likely be appealed to CAS.
“In my opinion, the case will end up in CAS because none of the parties will end up satisfied,” Castaño said. “It’s not an easy case and it requires extensive study.”
The three-time Tour de France champion is facing a possible two-year ban and the disqualification of his 2010 Tour crown after testing positive for minute traces of clenbuterol in a rest-day control taken in the final week of the Tour. Contador blames contaminated meat.
Since November, Contador’s case has been before the Spanish cycling federation’s comité de competición y disciplina deportiva, a four-member panel consisting of lawyers who are currently reviewing lengthy and detailed evidence.
As Castaño suggested, regardless of what decision the committee makes, that would likely not be the end of the story. All three involved parties – the UCI, the World Anti-Doping Agency and Contador – have the right to appeal to CAS.
Any appeal would drag the process well into 2011, meaning the case could remain unresolved by the start of the 2011 Tour de France on July 2.
Although Contador is temporarily banned from competition, he trained with his new Saxo Bank teammates on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura earlier this month for the squad’s first meeting going into next season.