First, the bad news, then the worse news.
“My opinion is that the case will end in the CAS, because it won’t end happily for all parties. The case is not easy and requires a thorough study,” said Juan Carlos Castaño, head of the Spanish Cycling Federation.
This statement can be read several ways and none of them good.
Either Castaño already knows his four impartial Spanish judges are going to say Contador doesn’t merit any suspension in the clenbuterol case. Or he’s saying that the penalty they’re going to impose will be so minimal that the UCI and WADA are going to be dissatisfied.
Either way that means a long, slow trip to the Court for Arbitration in Sport. Then we’re back in Valverde-Land and you know how miserable and embarrassing that was.
And that’s the worst of news. Because it means we won’t have resolution on the guilt or innocence of the biggest name in cycling for a long time. We won’t know who the 2010 Tour de France winner is for probably close to a year, given the speed at which CAS moves and all the legal maneuvering and postponements.
That is sad and frustrating and disappointing for all parties concerned. It keeps the dark cloud of doping hanging over the entire sport. It might keep Alberto Contador out of the Tour and half his hair is going to fall out.
The story will continue to dominate the press when the focus should be on great races, beautiful victories, inspired performances and surprising new talented riders making their marks. As the great Hunter Thompson would say, the Contador doping story continues to “spray a shit mist” on everyone and everything.
Who’s ready to guess the outcome? Twisted Spoke says Spain gives Alberto a three month slap on the wrist — a pathetic half measure designed to appease critics who said they’re soft on doping but a light enough punishment that Contador can race as soon as possible.
No matter what happens, CAS here we come.