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Contador Hearing Scheduled for August

D_mediumThe Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS-TAS) has announced today that it will hear the UCI and WADA cases against Alberto Contador on 1-3 August 2011. The timing will almost certainly allow Alberto Contador to ride the Tour de France, unless the race organizers attempt to exclude him. The original hearing was scheduled for June, but at the request of Contador's lawyers, the Court agreed to postpone it.

The UCI and WADA appealed to the arbitration court after the Spanish Cycling Federation, the RFEC, did not sanction Contador, who tested positive for Clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France. The small amount of the substance detected by the WADA laboratory in Belgium complicated the case, and led the RFEC to accept Contador's argument that he did not take the substance intentionally. Instead, he argued that he had eaten contaminated beef. The strict liability rules in the WADA code dictate that an athlete must be sanctioned regardless of intent, but the RFEC chose not to sanction Contador and so far, he has kept his 2010 Tour de France title.

In March, WADA and the UCI filed an appeal, and the arbitration court originally scheduled the hearing for June 2011. In response to a request from Contador's lawyers for more time to prepare, the court agreed to postpone the original hearing. The new hearing will take place in August. This decision allows Contador to race the Tour de France, unless the Tour de France organizers attempt to exclude him. He is not currently banned from racing. The Spanish rider, who races for Saxo Bank, recently won the Giro d'Italia by over six minutes.

Update! According to ESPN, Enrico Carpani has confirmed to the AP that the UCI will ask the Court to strip all of Contador's results back to the date of the positive tests. Should the Court find in the UCI's favor, Contador would lose his victory at the 2010 Tour de France, the 2011 Giro d'Italia and any results he receives at the 2011 Tour de France.