Contador in CAS plea over doping charge

Contador in CAS plea over doping charge

GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
Contador in CAS plea over doping charge

Alberto Contador leaves the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. REUTERS photo

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, who is fighting a bid to impose a doping ban which could strip him of his 2010 Tour de France win, pled his case before a panel yesterday.

The three-time Tour de France champion addressed a closed hearing at the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sports, which has been charged with examining if minute traces of clenbuterol found in a urine sample in 2010 is proof that Contador used drugs to enhance his performance.

Contador emerged red-eyed from the building shortly before 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) and got into a taxi with his brother Fran without addressing waiting media.

CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said the cyclist spoke for about 15 minutes on the last day of the case.

More than 20 witnesses have given evidence since it opened on Monday at CAS headquarters before being moved to the International Olympic Committee, also in Lausanne, so as to ensure simultaneous translation during the trial.

No ruling is expected before 2012.

The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) initially cleared Contador of any wrongdoing after he claimed his sample had been contaminated by a steak he ate. That allowed Contador to continue competing, but the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) filed appeals to CAS.