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Date still to be definitively confirmed - holding breath would be ill-advised

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has said that it plans to announce its decision in the Alberto Contador case next Monday 6 February, following speculation this morning that it would be forthcoming today. In keeping with the seemingly interminable delays that have characterised the case ever since news broke in September 2010 that Tour de France winner Contador had tested positive for clenbuterol during that year's race, however, the CAS has not actually confirmed the date as yet - that will happen later this week.

A short announcement published on its website this lunchtime said: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) intends to publish its decision in the arbitration procedure involving the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Alberto Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) on Monday 6 February 2012. A confirmation as to the date and time of the publication of the decision will be given by the CAS at the end of this week."

The CAS heard the appeals of WADA and the UCI against last February's exoneration of Contador in November, and a decision was originally expected erlier this month. The body then said that "the publication of the final decision should now take place during the week of 31 January 2012" which we suppose is technically still the case - if, that is, you take Tuesday as the start of the week.

Last week, Contador picked up two stage wins in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina to finish second overall, 46 seconds behind winner Levi Leipheimer of Omega Pharma-Quick Step.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

13 comments

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cat1commuter [1422 posts] 5 years ago
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Oh FFS!

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SevenHills [243 posts] 5 years ago
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The only surprise is that we should be surprised that the announcement has been delayed again.
I will be surprised if we get an announcement on 6th Feb  13

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yenrod [107 posts] 5 years ago
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I remember commenting quite a while back that this was a joke & it still is !!!

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andylul [410 posts] 5 years ago
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** SLAP **

Sorry - bit slow off the mark

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veseunr [261 posts] 5 years ago
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lol at the catch-line ..... "holding breath ill-advised"  4

What a ridiculous situation! Valverde new someone that had done a few pills and got a two year ban. Contador is going to get let off after and interminably long time just so we all forgot that he did actually have an illegal substance in his blood!!

Must ban him ... or what next? Accidentally eating an EPO riddled kumquat or accidental blood transfusion whilst picking at my teeth with a hyperdermic?!  39

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Simon_MacMichael [2504 posts] 5 years ago
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Ah, if only everyone else involved in this case were as quick, andylul  4

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Lacticlegs [124 posts] 5 years ago
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Argghh! I think we should revisit the entire set-up for cycling. Let's allow drugs after all. It could be a kind of formula one - mechanics, coaches, trainers, doctors AND chemists all team together to make a cyclist as fast as possible - in other words, exactly the way it is at the moment.

No one expects us to be clean anymore. In fact - it's incredibly hard to persuade anyone inside or outside of the sport that any successful rider is clean. Which is as one would expect - after all, every other day some new twat falls foul of the doping authorities...and on the days inbetween we notice that the authorities are either completely toothless or so corrupt as to be no different from the guys with the off-the-chart hematocrit levels.

Our most successful current cyclist was caught with a banned substance in the blood during cycling's most high-profile race. Oh - and evidence of plasticizers from a blood transfusion...no doubt from the body-building haemophiliac cow he ate. Naturally it takes years to judge such a case - why wouldn't it?

Seriously - let's end it now, it's pathetic beyond redemption.

Revamp cycling - the teams could sponsored by the companies that 'assist' them: Glaxo Smithkline Beecham storm the Pyrenees...Pfizer rip apart the team time trial...Bayer create first 140kph cyclist!

The honesty might win back some fans...certainly couldn't lose them any faster.  2

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antonio [1168 posts] 5 years ago
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WADA, UCI, CAS,RFEC, enough's enough, kick the lot out and start again.Between them they are making a simple positive into world class negative.

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 5 years ago
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Meanwhile, Pat McQuaid is worried about Paul Kimmage did to his reputation? The irony is too delicious for words.

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antonio [1168 posts] 5 years ago
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February 6th, Contador hearing, February 7th Kolobnev hearing, my aren't these panels busy, no wonder they keep deferring!!

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Grumpy Bob [22 posts] 5 years ago
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Re veseunr's comment above

As far as I recall, Valverde's DNA matched that in a blood bag labelled Valv. (Piti) stored in Fuentes' freezer, which is a good reason for a ban IMHO.

Contador's clenbuterol level was considerably lower than the level that testing labs are required to be able to detect, thus (again IMHO) making clenbuterol conviction a bit dependent on where the samples get sent for analysis.

Plus the time this case has gone on for is so absurdly long that it's an injustice on its own.

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veseunr [261 posts] 5 years ago
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Re Valverde: taking blood out is not an offence .... just putting it back. No plastizers, no drugs found. Not saying he shouldn't have been banned but maybe unlucky? Maybe he has getting all Heston Blumental (sic) and making his own black-pudding!!  4

Re Contador: There is not minimum permissible amount of Clenbuterol. If the lab found it ...it's there! Does the law not state "cyclist are responsible for what they consume"? ergo guilty.

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Grumpy Bob [22 posts] 5 years ago
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Hypothetical situation: regulations say that any concentration of doping product A is not permitted. Regulations also say that testing labs must be able to detect A down to a concentration of 1 ng per ml. Now suppose two riders, 1 and 2, both have A in their samples at 0.1 ng per ml. Rider 1's sample goes to a testing lab that can detect A down to 0.01ng per ml, and is found guilty. Rider 2' sample goes to a testing lab that can only detect A down to the regulation 1 ng per ml and is found innocent.

This is exactly the kind of scenario that can happen where there isn't a lower limit that counts as positive, and it's exactly the case with clenbuterol. Contador's clenbuterol was at a concentration below that level at which testing labs must be able to detect. I reckon that makes conviction a bit of a lottery.

Not saying this with the opinion that Contador is either innocent or guilty. I have no idea, and personally I think the whole plasticiser issue is significant, but wasn't an approved test at the time.

I think he'll be exonerated by CAS. Plus the whole shambles has gone on for far too long.