The Court for Arbitration in Sport gave the cycling world a judicial heads up: no verdict on Alberto Contador’s Steak au Clenbuterol until January.
CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb says the three-man appeal panel will need “six to eight weeks” before making a ruling. Reeb’s follow-up quote is loaded with irony, as he stated that it’s “normal for a case of this complexity.”
Nothing in this case has been normal and the January ruling on a failed doping test from the 2010 Tour de France puts us into 2012. Alberto Contador continues to insist on his innocence and his confidence in acquittal. WADA and the UCI are just as confident or they wouldn’t be heading to Lausanne, Switzerland to present their case. The rest of us are just barely awake at this point.
Still, Twisted Spoke thanks CAS for letting us know the new dates. In late October, we posted our prediction on the delays dates but the tribunal as already jumped a step ahead of our timeline. That just shows you we’re dealing with pros. Chapeau, judges.
According the latest news, several of Contador’s teammates at the time, Benjamín Noval, Jesús Hernández and Paolo Tiralongo, will testify on his behalf. We’re wondering what legal weight that carries — “yes, we also ate the steaks and they were tasty.” It’s our understanding that they were not tested that day in Pau.
Contador’s four man legal team will battle a scrum from WADA and the UCI: a contingent of ten experts including a biostatistician and two nutritional experts. What should be amusing theater is the testimony and cross-examination of the butcher who sold the offending steak and the head of the Spanish association of cattle-breeders. Sample dialogue from Contador’s lawyer: “You’re just a stupid butcher from Irun — what do you know about science?”
WADA has already taken the trouble to test the meat at that shop in Northern Spain and the abattoir where it comes from and no traces of clenbuterol were discovered. A taint there ain’t.
Each team is also bringing there own biostatistican to argue about the validity of the biological passport. Seems to us that after the UCI’s big win in CAS against Italian climber Franco Pellizotti, the passport has passed that test with the judges. Of course, this is a new set of decision-makers, so who knows.
The only new information is the delay on a decision until January. Nobody would be surprised if that slides again.